Skip to main content

Full text of "Sermons on several important subjects"

See other formats

/"7 !^ /':^f> 


Collection of Puritan Literature. 

Division *••--— K*?»v^'''^*!^ 
Section /^ C^/St.C^^^ 









Mr. J H K S WA N S T N, 

Late Minlfter of the Gofpel at Kinross. 


To whlcii Is prefixed, 

A Short Account of the Author's Life, 

Christ is all, and in all. Col. iii. 1 1 

CntcrcS in ©tntioneijs ipaK- 

G L A S Cx O W: 

Printed by W i l l i a m Smith. 

Sold at his Shop in the foot of the Saltmercat j and by 
the Bookfellers in Town and Country. 

]^I D C CL X xTTT 





A Short Account of the Author's 
Life and Character. 

^TPHE Rev. Mr. John Swanston, Author of 
the following Sermons, was born in the 
village of Hume, and parifli of StitchUl^ of credit- 
able parents, who were encouraged to give him 
a regular education, by the good natural parts he 
very early difcovered. His bodily conflitution was 
ftrong and healthy, which enabled him to give 
unwearied application to his ftudies. 

After he had gone thro' the feveral branches 
of education, preparatory to the ftudy of divini- 
ty, in theuniverfity of Edinburgh, he was thrown 
into no fmall perplexity of mind, about matters 
of the higheft importance to an immortal foul, 
which was incrcafed, by an anxiety about the 
part he fliould a6t, for the glory of God, and his 
own comfort, in fixing his religious connexions ^ 
whether he fhould continue with the eflablifhed 
judicatories of the Church of Scotland, or join 
with the Aflbciate Prefbytery, which had been 
erected a few years before ? After deliberately 
weighing matters, he j udged it his duty to join ia 

A z 


the Seceflion: In which flep he furmounted the 
prejudice of education, and advice of his friends. 
Having profecuted the ftudy of divinity in con- 
nexion with the Ajibciate Prefbytery, he was U- 
cenfed to preach the gofpel, under their infpecfli- 
on, in the year 1743. He had not been long a 
Preacher, when two calls were given him to en- 
ter into the holy miniftry ; one from the congre- 
gation of Stitchill, the other from the congrega- 
tion at Orr in Galloway: which lafl the Prefby- 
tery preferred. By fome difnculties, not ne- 
ceflkry to be mentioned, his ordination there was 
retarded until the mournful rupture in the Affo- 
ciate Synod, on account of the religious claufe 
in fome burgefs oaths, took place ; and it was at 
laft prevented: for our Author adhered to thofe 
who oppofed the making the condemnation of ' 
thefe oaths a term of communion ; and the con- 
gregation of Orr having joined the oppofite party, 
the profecution of their call was dropt of courfe. 
The Aflbciate congregation of Kinrofs, being 
newly ere6led, upon an application, were allow- 
ed a hearing of him ; and did foon thereafter j 
give him an unanimous call. In confcquence of 
which, he was ordained by the nffociatc Prefby- 
tery of Perth and Dunfermline, at Kinrofs, on 
Thurfday the 23d of June, 1748: and there ex- 
ercifed his miniftry, to the very great iatisfaftion 
and edification of that congregation, who loved 
hirii dearly and defervedly: he was likewife held 


in very great efteem by others, with whom he 
was not fo nearly connefted. 

On Sabbath the yth of June 1767, he was affift- 
ing at the celebration of the Lord*s fupper at Perth ; 
where, after preaching on the evening from thefe 
words, Eph. i. 6. To the pra'ife of the glory ofhisgrace^ 

he was feized with an inflamation in his 

bowels. This diftemper was fo rapid in its 
progrefs, that he could not be tranfported to his 
own family in Kinrofs : But, through the kind- 
nefs of providence, this inconvenience was little 
felt, as he was lodged in the houfe of a near re- 
lation, where every tender office, that could alle- 
viate his afflidlion, was affiduoufly performed. 
On Friday morning, being the 12th, with a re- 
lignation becoming a fervant of Chrift, he yield- 
ed up his life into the hand of God the fovereign 
difpofer of all things. — Fie forefaw the approach 
of death, and under the immediate view of it, bore 
witnefs to the free grace of God, which he had 
preached with fomuch earneftnefs to others, fay- 
ing, / believe, that through the grace of our Lord Jefus 
Chrfl^ Ifioall be faved: and within a few minutes 
of his departing this life, he addrelTed himfelf, 
in an afFeftionate and particular manner, to his 
near relations, much to their fatisfadlion, faying, 
•* I would not now return to life for ten thoufand 
" worlds j" for, though myflefh and my heart fail me^ 
God is the frength of my hearty and my portion for ever. 

— Thus in his conflid with the King of Terrors, 


he exemplified that fortitude which he recom- 
mends, and experienced that comfort which he 
adminifters to others, in thefe favoury difcourfes 
from Ifaiah xli. lo. In this manner fell, by the 
ftroke of the inexorable meflenger of eternity? 
that truly great man, and faithful minifter of the 
gofpei, in the 46ch year of his age, and 19th of 
his miniftry, before his natural ftrength was a- 
bated, or his ufefulnefs in the Church impaired, 
to the very great grief of his congregation, and 
inexprelTiblc lofs of his young family. 

Tlio' I had the happinefs to be acquainted with 
him from my childhood, having been compa- 
nions at fchool ; and tho' this early acquaint- 
ance, as well as our being, for feveral years, mem- 
bers of the fame preibytery, led us to cultivate 
an intimate friendihip; I v/ili not, however, pre- 
tend to do his character jullice: but, without ex- 
ceeding bounds, orjuilly incurring the cenfure of 
iiattery or partia.lity of friendfiiip, the following 
things may be faid of him, now when in the dull. 

Ke was pofieiTed of fmgular natural parts, be- 
ing furniflied with a quick defcernment, great 
ftrength of judgment and memory, and rich in- 
vention. Such was his modefty, that on every 
cccafion, he rather concealed than fliewed his a- 
bilities; unlefs when necelTarily engaged in the 
defence of truth: and even then, he vaunted not 
over his antagonift, but was content if truth had 
the vidlory. 



His converfation was grave, accompanied with 
an engaging affability and unreferved gpennefs. 
His abilities were not ftained with an affuming 
air in converfation; he difrelifhed it in others, 
and fo guarded againft it in his own deportment. 
As a friend, he was fincere and Heady, more in- 
cUned to cover than expofe the blemiflries he dif- 
cerned in others. A moft affeftionate hufband, 
and tender-hearted parent, whofe regard was'not 
confined to the temporal intereft of his children, 
but extended, in an efpecial manner, to their fpi- 
ritual welfare, which lay near his heart. 

In his Chriftian behaviour he was very tender 
and circumfpedl, fliewing himfelf a pattern of 
good works. Being made an able minifter of the 
New-teftament, by a large meafure of gifts and 
grace conferred upon him, he occupied thefe ta- 
lents to the very laft, as a workman in his Lord's 
vineyard, who needed not to be afliamed; having 
a deep fenfe of the obligations he was under to 
ferve his Matter, and of the worth of immortal 
fouls committed to his charge. ♦ - 

His doftrine was according to godlinefs ; and, 
in preaching, he did not entertain his hearers 
with an-y fpeculations, but with the substantial 
truths ot the gofpel. In his delivery he aimed 
not at gaining the applaufeof the heady and felf- 
conceited, nor at pleafing the fancy with the en- 
ticing words of men'a wifdom; but Ihewed him- 
lelt ia earneil to win fouls to Ghriftj by applying 

viii P R E F A C F. 

the law to the confcience of the finner, for con- 
vincing him of his guilt and pollution ; and by 
holding forth the Redeemer in the glory of his 
grace, as the only means of recovery. He there- 
fore adapted his manner of expreffion to the 
capacity of ordinary hearers, that fo he might 
inftrudl the ignorant, flrengthen the weak, and 
comfort the bowed down. His manner of ad- 
drefs in the pulpit was compofed and fedate, ac- 
companied, at the fame time, with a ferious and 
becoming warmth, whereby he difcovered, in his 
own mind, a firm perfuafion of the precious truths 
he delivered to others. As a good foldier of Jefus 
Chrift, he did not turn his back on the caufe of 
truth, but held it faft in the face of oppofition ; and 
then it was, his zeal for the honour of Chrift, and 
boldnefs in defending truth, did moft remarkably 
appear. He had too much honefty for trimming 
his fermons to fuit the tafte of oppofite parties. 
Plainnefs and honefty were bright flrokes in his 
minifterial character from firft to laft, never fliun- 
ning, as opportunities offered, to declare him- 
feif a firm friend to the dodlrine, worfliip, dif- 
cipline, and government of the Church of Scot- 
land ; while he paid a due regard to what the 
royal Preacher calls a time to /peak. 

So fenfihle were his brethren in the afifociation 
of his abilities as a divine, and of his exemplary 
walk as a Chriftian, that they entrufted him with 
the overfight of their ftudents in divinity. And 


had it pkafed God to have lengthened out his life, 
what a bleffing would he have been to them, 
and through them to this, and fucceeding ge- 
nerations ! 

Reader, the following Sermons, now pub- 
liflied, labour under the common difadvantages 
of every other pofthumous w^ork ; and alfa, fuch 
as many do not. So great was the modedy of 
the worthy Author, that, to my certain knowledge 
he never had the reraoteil intention of feed- 
ing any of his productions to the prefs: and his 
friends would have complied with his inclinati- 
on, had they not been repeatedly importuned by 
feverals of his brethren in the muiiilry, and ma- 
ny of thefc who heard him, to pubUfli fome of 
his Sermons. It is expected, that, for this reafon, 
the candid reader will make allowances for what 
inaccuracies he may obferve in them. They were 
tranfcribed from the Author's ov/n manufcript, 
by his eldeft fon, with all pofTible care. 

Neverthelefs, though they appear under fuch 
difadvantages in public, I hope, through the 
bleffing of God, they will be ufeful to many, 
who fhall perufe them with a defign to profit, in 
recommending Chrift, and his grace more and 
more to the efteem of them who believe ;^and 
for awakening the fecure, to fly for refuge to the 



hope fet before them in the gofpel, which were 
the great points the Author kept in view. That 
thefe ends may be gained is the lincere and ar- 
dent defire of, 

Chriftian Reader, 

Your foul's weil-wifher, 


Oa. 25. 1773. 5 JOHN SMITH. 

The Reader will probably conclude, from the length 
of the following difcourfes, that what is contained in each 
of them, was not delivered in one Sermon ; and the 
variations in the original manufcripts juftify fuch a con- 
clufion : But the prefervation of the connexion, as well 
as the difllculty of afcertainin^ the time and divillons, 
diiTuaded the Editor from attempting to make any divifi- 
ons at all. If the reader finds his attention fatigued, by 
reading one whole difcourfe, at one time, he may relieve 
it by making a paufe at the clofe of the feveral general 
heads of method. 



, God in Christ^ a God oi Kindnefs. 

Ep H ES. ii. 7. 

That in the ages to come, he might Jheiv the exceed- 
ing riches of his grace^ in his kindnefs toivards us^ 
through Chrifl JefuSy Page 9 

The Riches of Grace Difplayed^ by 
God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ. 

Ep H ES. ii. 7. 
That in the ages to come, he might fheiv the exceed-- 
ing riches of his grace^ in his kindnefs towards tis, 
through Chri/i Jefus^ , 66 

Christ^ Xh^ Sun of Right eoufnefs^ ariling 
with Heahng in his Wings. 

Malachi iv. 2. 
But unto yon that fear my name, fhall the Sun of Righ" 
teoifnefs arife nuith healing in his wings, 151 

A Sight of Christ^ the Chri/^ians Joy. 

John xx. 20. 

Then were the 4ifciples glad when they f aw the Lord, 



Christ crucified^ recommended as 
the Matter of Gofpel-preaching. 

I Cor. i. 23, 24. 

But ive preach Chrijl criic'ijied^ unto the Jeivs a Jlum- 
bling'block^ and unto the Greeks fooli/lonefs ; but unto 
them ivhich are called, both Jeivs and Greeks, Chrijl 
the poiver of God, and the ivijdom of God, Page 294 

An Attempt to preach Chriji crucified. 

I Cor. i. 23, 24. 

But %ve preach Chrijl crucified, unto the feivs a Jlum- 
bling'block, and unto the Greeks JooUfhuefs ; but unto 
them ivhich are called, both Jews and Greeks, Chrifi 
the poiver of God ^ and the ivifdom of God ^ 347 

Sovereign Antidotes again it Sla^viJJj Fear. 

Isaiah xli. i o. 

Fear thou not, far I am ivith thee ; be not difnayed, for 
I am thy Gody 373 

The Saints on Earthy Strangers and 
Sojourners with God. 

Psalm xxxix. 1 2. 

I am a Jlranger ijuith thee, and a fojourner, as all my 
fathers ivere^ 462 

[ 9 3 

God in Ch rist, a God of Kindnefs. 

Ep H Es. ii. 7. 

That in the ages to come, he 77iight Jheiv the exceed^ 
ing riches^ of his grace ^ in his kindnefs toivards us^ 
through Chrifl Jefus, 

■^ H E words I have now read, are the concluflon 
of the longeft continued fentence, perhaps, in 
all the book of God, viz, from the i8th verfe 
of the preceding chapter, to this : It began with the 
riches of glory ^ and it ends with the ricJ?es of grace. It 
contains a parallel between what was done in Chrifl the 
head, and in us his members ; that fo in Chrifl's glory, 
as in a lively pattern already perfected, we might fee 
what God had done, and will do for us, to the praife 
of his rich grace and glorious power ; for this is the 
great and ultimate end of all, as is plain from the text. 
That in the ages to come^ he might fi>ew the exceeding riches 
nf his grace. 

If one were to prepare the fpirits of a company of 
condemned criminals, for receiving the moft lively im- 
prellion of their fovereign's goodnefs and clemency, he 
would firft of all reprefent to them their own wretched 
flate and character ; what pefts they had been to focie- 
ty ; how julUy they are now in chains, and condemned 
to an ignominious gibbet ; and then to prefent them 
with the King*s pardon, declaring their freedom. In 
like manner, tlic Apoille here fets forth, in lively 
colours, our fin and mifery, on purpofe to fct off and 
illufirate the love, grace, and mercy of God in our fal- 
vati'on : Tou^ luho were dead in trefpajjes and fins; — but 
Cod IV ho is rich in mercy ^ Szc. Never was there a happier 

lo God's Great Ktndnefs to Men, 

turn towards us, nor a richer mine fprung up than that 
of mercy, love, and peace; whereof God is ihe/ubje^y 
falvation the fruity and the exaltation of grace, the 
riches of grace, the end^ as in the text ; That in the agei 
to come^ he might fiew the exceeding riches of his grace ^ in 
his kindnefs towards us through Chrifl* 

In which words, we have two things in general: 
ly?, God's goodnefs to men in Chrift ; and, idly^ The 
grand end and deiign of it. 

[1.3 We have firft, Xh.z goodnefs of God to men, in 
Chrift Jefus ; In his kindnefs towards us thro* Chrifl Jefus. 
Where we may obferve, firft, his goodnefs, or his kind- 
nefs itfelf; fecondly, the objecbsof it, us ; and, thirdly, 
the channel of it, through Chrifl Jefus, 

I . We have the goodnefs of God itfelf ; or, as- it is 
ftiled by the apoftle in our text, his kindnefs. It is 
very ufual in the Scriptures, when they would mag- 
nify any thing exceedingly, to inculcate it with plen- 
ty of woi'ds, and efpecially when it would magnify God, 
and the gifts of grace; as for inftance, in Ifai. Ixiii. 7. 
/ will mention the lovin<j kindnefs of the Lordy and the 
fraifes of the Lcrd^ accorditig to all that the Lord hath he- 
flowed on us ; and the great goodnefs towards the houfe of 
Ifraely which he hath beftowed on them^ according to his 
mercies^ and according to the multitude of his loving kind- 
nefjes. Where you fee they heap up w^ords, adding loving 
kindncffcs to mercy, and great goodnefs to loving kindnefs, 
and a multitude of loving kindneffes to great goodnefs: 
And fo does the apoftle here, to magnify grace, he men- 
tions mercy ^ love^ and grace : But God who is rich in mercy, 
&c. : By grace ye are faved^ &c. And if that be not 
enough, he adds kindnefs. — Mercy is a good word j 
it is a deiire to ihew pity, and to relieve in mifery : 
Love is a good word ; it is a deiire to communicate good 
to the creatures : Grace is a good word too ; importing 
A foverci!3:ntv in God's fcewins: favour, or that he does 

zwChristJesus. II 

It freely, and magnificently like a prince. But khidnefs 
imports fomething more than thefe; it imports all fweet- 
nefs, all friendlinefs, all heartinefs, and all joyfulnefs, 
in doing us good. So the apoftle goes, as it were, to 
the bottom of the heart of God, when he adds, in bis 
kindnefs. God doth not only difpenfe grace and glory 
to us, to fliew forth his own glory, but with the greateil 
kindnefs to us that poflibly can be : He is glad of all 
the grace and glory he bellows on us ; Jer. xxxii. 4 1 , 
Tea^ he will rejoice over them to do them good, 

2. We have the objeBs of his kindnefs, us^ and not 
others : it is not fallen angels, but fallen men. We were 
children of wrath^ as well as others ; dead in trcfpajj^es 
and in fins^ as well as others : but God is kind to us, 
and not to others. His kindnefs did not pitch upon 
properties^ but upon ferfons : on thefe he fets his love, 
and beftows all its precious fruits. 

3. We have the channel oi it, through^ or iii Chrift 
Jefus. The apoftle had often ufed this exprcilion before : 
he ufed it in fpeaking of election ^ according as he has 
chofen us in him : of acceptation ; he hath made us accept- 
ed in the beloved: of redemption; in him tue have re- 
demption through his bloody &c. And he ufes it, becaufe 
he would never have us to leave out Chrift Jefus, leave 
out what we w^ill : and indeed, we have never profpered 
in religion, iince minifters left Chrift fo much out of their 
preachings, and people out of their meditation ; nor 
will we ever thrive untill he be taken in a^-ain. God 
Ihews not one drop of kindnefs to any foul but in and 
through Chrift : he is commenfurate to all God's coun- 
fels, as to his own eternal glory, in the ftilvation of fm- 
ners. The whole flood of divine vengeance falls upon 
men out of Chrift Jefus; and not one drop thereof thro* 
him : but the full flood of God's kindnefs vcnlt, '^hroiKrh 
him, and not one drop falls befides him: for he bleffes 
us with all fpiriiual blejfmgs in and thro' Chrift fcfus. 


!I1 Cod's Great Kindnefs to Men, 

([2.]] The fecond thing obferved, was the end and 
defign of God's kindnefs to men in Chrift, viz. That in 
the ages to come^ he might Jhew the exceeding riches of his 
grace. All along, the apoftle had made the glory of 
grace, the burden and fcope of every particular blef- 
iing. Hdving mentioned eledion^ he fays, to the praife 
t)f the glory of his grace : having fpoken of redemption^ he 
adds, according to the riches of his grace : having fpoken 
ai faith^ he adds, that we fhould he to the praife of his 
glory : and now when he fpeaks of our whole falvation^ 
lie holds forth the glory of grace as the end of all : this 
being the cafe, he expreifeth himfelf in the moft em- 
phaticai terms, the e^eeding riches of his ^race. The 
grand defign of God, in his kindnefs to us, is not fim- 
ply to difcover and exalt grace, for this had been done 
even by the covenant of works ; but the riches^ nay, the 
exceeding riches of his grace ; in refpecl whereof the for- 
mer was but a fmall moiety of grace. 

Without further explication of the words, I obferve 
two doctrinal propofitions from them. 

1 . That God is a God of great kindnefs to men^ in and 
ihroiiQ'h Chrift Jefus. 

2 . That the highefl end^ and grand defign of God in his 
kindnefs^ is the manifeftation and exaltation of the exceed- 
ing riches of his grace. 

It is the firft of thefe doclrinal obfervations, I am to 
inlift on at the time, viz, 

DocT. That God is a kind God to men in Chrift Jefus, 

In profecuting this doctrinal truth, through divine 
aid, I would incline to obferve the following mSthod, 

I. I fliall fpeak of God*s kindnefs to men, in Chrift. 

II. Of the objeSis of this kindnefs, 

m. Of the channel through which it flows. 

IV. Offer fome reafons of the doclrine. Andj 

V, Apply the %vhole ia fundry ufes. 

iltCHRlSTjESUS* 13 

I. We return to the firft of thefe, which was to fpeak 
of God*s kindnefs to men^ in Chrift* And all I propofe 
on this, is to mention fome fignal inilances of it : for 
this kindnefs, in itfelf, cannot be exprefled, nor com- 
prehended by us : But that we may apprehend what we 
cannot comprehend, God has condefcended to defcribe 
it principally from its fruits and elfecls, as in i John iv. 
8,9. God IS love^ fays the apoftle ; and he fays no more 
of that, but is glad to fall a fpeaking of the effects of 
this love : — In this was manifejled the love of God towards 
us^ becaiife that Godfent his only begotten Son into the worlds 
that we might live thro* him : and what follows all this ? 
ver. 12th, No man hath feen God at any time: as if he 
had faid ; If you would have me fpeak of God*s love as 
it is in the fountain, I cannot, nor can any man do it : 
no man hath feen God at any time ; and therefore, I muft 
content myfelf with telling you of it, as it is manifefled 
in its effecls. I am not able to know, far lefs to ex- 
prefs, what love is in the heart of God ; but, at the fe- 
cond hand, it may be illuftrated by the gift of his only 
begotten Son. Now, if the fcriptures take this way, 
much more muft we do it, who have not learned wif- 
dom, nor underftood the knowledge of the moft High : 
and therefore, I fliall mention fome principal inftances 
of God's kindnefs to men, in Chrift. i . Of his kind- 
nefs to man's nature^ in the perfon of Chrift. 2 . Of his 
kindnefs to men's ferfons^ in and through the perfon of 

1 /?, I am to mention fome inftances of God's kind- 
nefs to man's nature^ in the perfon of Chrift. 

I. The firft 1 mention, is his choofing our nature from 
all eternity, to the grace of hypoftatical union, and all 
the following fruits of it ; whence our Lord is frequent- 
ly called God's chofen one, Pfa. Ixxxix. 1. I have made 
a covenant with my chofen^ or my chofen one : and in 

14 God's Great Kindnefs to Men^ 

the 1 9th verfe, / have laid help upon One that is mighty ; 
I have exalted One chofen out of the people. From all eter- 
nity God predeftinated the Son, the fecond perfon of the 
Trinity, to be God-man ; and fo the human nature to 
union with the Son of God : and this character, he fuf-^ 
tained from everlafting, tho' he was not adually incar- 
nate till the f ulnefs of time ; and hence we are faid to 
be chofen in hi?n before the foundation of the world: which 
fuppofes him to be chofen firft, as the head in whom 
we were chofen. And as it was not an uncertain 
ferfany but the fecond that was chofen to be Lord 
and Chrift ; fo it was not any body that he might af- 
fume, but that very fame numerical body prepar- 
ed for him 5 a body hafl thou prepared 7ne. That was 
kindnefs to our nature, and kindnefs to purpofe : for 
there could be no forefeen excellency or worth in that 
nature that could merit fuch an exaltation. It may be 
faid of his human nature, as well as to any other creature, 
who hath firft given to him, and it fliall be recompenfed 
to him again : and it was kindnefs to purpofe ; for by that 
de<?tion, he had more given him than what the whole 
creation of men and angels had. The kindnefs was 
the greater, in regard the dignity was above what, 
by the law of creation, was due to men and angels: and 
it is enhanfed by this alfo, that that creature alone, and 
none others, was predeftinate to the grace of union : this 
was the high eft pattern and example of electing grace. 
3n this God's great end in predeftination was accompiifh- 
ed in him above 2II his fellows, that he ftiould be to the 
praife of the glory God's grace above them all. 

2. Another inftai^ce of God's kindnefs to our nature, 
in the perfon of Chrift, was his actual affumption thereof 
into union, not moral, or myftical, but perfonal with 
the Son of God. Not onlv was our nature from eter^ 
nity defigned to union with the perfon of Chrift ; but in 
^h^ fulnefs of time it was aclually taken into union : for 

2« C H R I S T J E S U S. 15 

the Word was made Jlejh^ and dwelt among us. The eter- 
nal Word was made flefli, not by being changed into, 
but by ajfuming flefh : he became man, not by affuming 
the per/on^ but the nature of man. Man is faid to be af- 
fumed, the human foul and body being aflfumed. The 
ferfon of man is not faid to be alfumed, becaufe the foul 
and body were not united to one another in a perfon, 
before they were united to the perfon of the Son of God, 
He affumed foul and body, that he might have both to 
offer : he did not aiTume our perfons, that our happi- 
nefs might Hand in his perfon, and not in our own ; 
That no man might glory in his prefence^ but that he that 
glories 7night glory in the Lord. He indeed faves our per- 
fons, not by affuming them, but by receiving that 
which conflitutes our perfonality, into his own divine 
perfon, and that infeparably and for ever : for this 
union was not ihaken in the leafl by the temporary dif- 
folution of his human nature in his death, nor could it 
be ; for the union of the foul and body to Chrifl, did not' 
conilitute him a perfon, otherwife the difTolution thereof 
would have deftroyed his perfonalhiy : but he was a me- 
diatorial perfon, by the union of both to the Son of God. 
Here is kindnefs, and kindnefs with a witnefsl It was 
kindnefs ; for the human nature of Chrifi:, neither did, 
nor could merit, the dignity of the hypoflatical union. 
It did if not; becaufe, being made a partaker of it, 
from the inftantof its conception, all works which might 
procure it were prevented ; and a thing cannot be me- 
rited by any thing after it is freely ' 'minted before ; nor 
could it merit the hypoftatical union, being tliat which 
exceeds all the rules of remunerative juftice. It was 
great and unparalleled kindnefs ; being the greateft ho- 
nour and advancement a creature is capable of. There 
are other admirable ways wherein God has fhewed his 
kindnefs to men : but this is that way of his grace to- 
wards US in the perfon of his Son, wherein he will be 


1 6 God's Great Kindnefs to Men, 

admired and glorified to all eternity. Herein did God 
glorify all the properties of his nature, ailing in a way 
of infinite kindnefs, grace and condefcenfion. In other 
things he hath fet off his glory, as it were, by parts ; 
but in this he hath manifefted, drawn forth, and difplay- 
ed all the treafures and riches of his glory ; fo that his 
excellencies are capable of no higher exaltation. This 
kindnefs is enhanfed, by its being a favour he denied un- 
to the angels ; Verily he took not on him the nature of angels y. 
but the feed of Abraha?n, He did not at all, or in any 
wife, take hold of their nature: he neither looked, fent^ 
nor went after the angels who finned. He neither fol- 
lowed them, nor took hold of their nature, nor fuffered 
them to take hold of him j though, being fpirits, they 
were incomparably above us : but he took hold of the 
nature of the feed of Abraham, 

3 . Another inftance of God's kindnefs to our nature, 
in the perfon of Chrift, is this, that the Son of God, and 
it, have but one fonfhif : for filiation is of the perfon j 
and the perfon of Chrift is but one : tho' his natures 
be two, his perfon is but one. The two natures of 
Chrift, tho' remaining eternally two diftinci: natures ; 
yet are not two things fubfifting diftindlly in themfelves : 
for the human nature never fubfifted in itfelf, but al- 
ways fince the incarnation of the Son of God, fubfifted 
in his divine perfon : fo that our Lord may be faid to 
be both one thing, and one perfon ; having in his two 
natures only one fubfiftence and perfonality. Now, 
filiation being of the perfon, and our nature having no 
fubfiftence, but what it hath in the perfonality of the 
eternal Word, how highly exalted is our nature there- 
by ! Heb. i. 5 . For unto ^uuhich of the angels faid he at ayiy 
time^ Thou art my Son^ this day have I begotten thee f And 
again, / ivill be to hijii a Father^ and he fhall be to me a 

4. Another inftance of the kindnefs of God to our 

iVz C H R I S T J E S U S. 17 

nature in the pcrfon of Chrift, was his tajling of death 
in that nature, for every elect man ; Heb. ii. 8. We fee, 
Jefus who was a little lower than the angels^ for the fuf- 
fering of death^ crowned with glory and honour^ that he^ 
BY THE GRACE OF GoD, fl:>oidd tajle death for every man*, 
I know the common interpretation of thefe words (and 
it is a very good one) is this, that it was not out o£ 
any anger or difpleafure of God againft Jefus, in whom 
his fbul delighted ; nor out of any difregard to him, 
whom he defigned hereby to be crowned with honour: 
and glory ; but out of his love and kindnefs to thofe 
who could no otherwife be brought to glory, that he 
made him tafle of death : but according to fome, the 
fenfe is this, we fee Jefus, who in his condition in this 
world was lower than angels, yet in regard of his office 
and defign, had a crown of glory put upon him above 
them all ; that he, by the grace of God, fhould tafte o£ 
death. It is eafy to fee kindnefs in his vidory over death ; 
but it is not fo eafy to fee kindnefs in his taftlng of death : 
it is eafy to fee a glory in his being a prophet, and in 
his being a king ; but flefli and blood cannot fee a glory 
in his being a friefl^ efpecially when he is to be both 
prieft and facrifice. But if we look to the inflde of 
this, it is full of glory and kindnefs ; for v/hat incon- 
ceivable glory is it to heal the breach betwixt an offend- 
ed God, and finful men ; to purge our iin by himfelf, 
and then fit down at the right-hand of God, having 
obtained eternal redemption for us ! Could there be a 
greater honour, next to being the Son of God, than to 
reflore God's impaired honour to him, vv^ithout a ble- 
mifli, and man's lofl happinefs, without a flaw; to give \ 
God ground to behold his v/orks with pleafure, and 
man to look on God with delight ? and both thefe he 
did, by being the author of eternal fahation, 

5 . Another inflance of God's kindnefs to our nature, 
in the perfon of Chrift, was his giving it a glorious re- 

C " 

x6 Gojd's Great Kindne/s to Men, 

furreBion from the dead. That our Lord Jefus, in the 
human nature, was truly dead, and continued in the 
congregation of the dead, for fome time, we have no 
ground to queftion, Rom. vi. 9. Chrijl beim ra'ifed from 
the dead^ death hath no more dominion over him; which 
implies, that death not only held him, but had domi- 
nion over him for fome time ; and that he was not loft, 
though he was laid in the grave. That death hath loft 
its prey, and the grave its prifoner, is as certain, from 
the teftimony of angels, who are holy creatures, and 
cannot deceive, Matth. xxviii. 6. He is not here^ for he 
is rifen : and the teftimony of holy men, who were eye- 
witnefTes of this truth, and to whom he Ihewed him- 
felf alive, by the fpace of forty days after his death, who 
confirmed their teftimony by their blood. Was not 
this kindnefs to our nature? i Pet. i. 21. Who by hi?n 
do believe in God, that raifed him from the dead, and gave 
him glory ; that is, who gave him glory in his refurrec- 
tion as well as in his afcenfion. O the kindnefs fliewn 
our nature here! in that he rofe out of the grave 
with awful majefty, and marched out of that bloody 
field with a pomp becoming fo great a conqueror: for. 
Behold there was a great earthquake, and the angel of the 
Lord defended from heaven, and came and rolled back the 
flone from the door ; his countenance was like lightening, and 
his raiment white as fiow ; and for fear of hi?n, the keep- 
ers did fhake, and became as dead men : human frailty was 
not able to bear fuch heavenly majefty as attended the 
bufinefs of that morning ; and to increafe the fplendor 
of that day, and carry on the triumph, his refurrefbion 
was attended with the refurrection of many of the faints 
who were awakened to attend the Lord at his rifing, 
which was defigned, both to adorn his refurrection, 
and to give an evidence of our refurreclion, which is 
alfo to be in virtue of his; llom. vi. 9, 10. Knowing 
that Chrifl being raifed from thQ dead, dieth no more — likQ^ 

Z« C H R I S T J E S U S. ^ 19 

wife recton^e yoiirfehes alfo to he dead indeed unto fin ^ hut 
alive unto God. through Jefus Chrift our Lord, As if he 
had faid, is Cnrift rifen ? then ye are fure to rife : look, 
as death had no more dominion over Chrift, you may as 
foon have Chrift brought out of heaven again, as that 
death fliall ever have dominion over you. And is not 
that good news ? The apoftle, preaching the refurrecli- 
on, fays, We declare unto you glad tidings^ how that the 
fromife which was made to the fathers^ God hath fulfilled 
the fame to us their children^ in that he hath raifed up 
Jefus again from the dead. It was good for us that 
Chrift rofe again : this living head will in a little time 
have no dead members f with his dead body fJoall they 

6. Another inftance of the kindncfs of God to our 
nature, in the perfon of Chrift, was, his giving it a 
glorious afcenfion into heaven. Our Lord Jefus was fent 
into the world upon the greatcft errand imaginable, 
the accomplifliing of the work of man's redemption ; 
and when he had fulfilled it, and was ready in all things, 
to give an account of it to the eternal glory of God, 
God not only raifed him from the dead, but gave him a 
triumphant and glorious afcenfion, in the human na- 
ture, into heaven ; and^ this was kindnefs, confidering 
how triumphantly, munificently, and comfortably he 
afcended : — How triumphantly he afcended, all the angels 
being his attendants in his palTage to glory, Pfal. Ixviii. 
I 7 . ''The chariots of God are twenty thoufind^ even majiy 
thoufands of angels. The angel Gabriel notified his con- 
ception ; a multitude of the heavenly hoft anounced his 
birth, praifing God, and faying. Glory to God in the 
highefl^ peace on earthy and good-will to men. Angels 
miniftred to him, after his temptation ; an angel ftrength- 
ened him in his agony, and afiifted at his refiirreclion : 
but never was there fuch a general rendezvous of ano:els, 
as vv^hen our Lord was returning from earth to heaven, 

C 2 

S?o G o D*s Great. Klndnefs to Men^ 

with all the adverfaries of the glory of God and our 
falvation at his chariot wheels ; and never fliall there be 
fuch another till he come again in his own and his Fa- 
ther's glory. — This was kindnefs, confidering how mu- 
Tiijicently he afcended, conferring, at the fame time, his 
bleffings and bounty upon men: for, when he afcend- 
cd up on high, he received gifts for men^ and he gave 
gifts to men : he received them with the one hand, and 
8ie diftributed them with the other : he handed them to 
the world as they were conveyed to him by his Father 
5n his glory. — This was kindnefs, confidering how com- 
fortably he afcended, juft in bluffing his people; For it 
€ame to pafs^ while he bleffed the?n, he was parted from them^ 
and carried up to heaven. The lail ufe he made of thefe 
lips into which grace was poured, and the laft ufe he 
made of thefe holy hands on earth, which had been 
nailed to the crofs, was to blefs, to fiiew the curfe was 
^removed, and the blefling was procured ; and that he 
tvas going to heaven, to pour out bleiTmgs till there 
ihould be no room to receive. He came into the world 
as the greatefl: bleiling ever it faw : he bleifed his peo- 
ple when he was with them, bleffed them when he left 
them, and he will blefs them when they meet again. 
As to they^y of his actual reception into heaven, no 
lieart can conceive it, much lefs Q2Xi any tongue exprefs 
its glory : only we are fare there is joy in heaven upon 
the return of one finner, and this behoved to be much 
more upon his return who matle them all return. All 
the inhabitants of heaven were in motion at his coming, 
and went forth with applaufes to meet him, faying, Lft 
lip your heads ^ O ye gates ; even lift them iip^ ye everlaft- 
ing doors ; and the king of glory fl:) all come in. 

7. Another inftance of God's kindnefs to our nature, 
in the perfon of Chrifl, is his being exalted to make 
intercejjion for tranfgreffors. The God and Father of our 
Lord Jefus Chrifl, has not only taken our nature in the 

in Ch K isr ] zs vs. 21 

pcrfon of Chrift away to heaven, to reap the glorious 
fruits and effeds of his arduous work on earth ; but to 
be employed about our bufinyefs alfo, to make intercef- 
fion : hence it is faid, be ever lives to make inter cejfion. 
No doubt he lives to rule his church, he lives to fub- 
due her eneuiies ; for he muft reign till they are all made 
his footftool: he lives to give the holy Spirit and all his 
bleffed effects to believers ; but his interceffion is the 
principal end of Tiis mediatory life ; and this is done 
in ,the human nature. He executed all the duties 
of his offices whilfl: he was on earth ; and in the 
fame nature he continues to difcharge what remains 
thereof: and is not this kindnefs to our nature? If we 
coniider the nature of his interceffion, — it lies in his 
prefenting himfelfm our nature and in our name, before 
God, Heb. ix 24. For Chrijl is not entered into the holy 
.flace made with hands ; but into heaven it/elf^ now to af- 
'pear in the prefence of God for us : and v^hat an honour is 
that to our nature ? — It lies in the prefentation of his 
deaths oblation^ and facrijice^ which is the foundation of 
the application of all the benefits of the new covenant 
to us, Heb. ix. 12. Is either by the blood of bulls nor of 
goats ^ but by his own bloody he entered in once into the holy 
flace^ having obtained eternal redemption ^for us, — And it 
lies in his willing all the bleffings purchafed by his death 
may be beftowed on all thefe for whom his blood was 
fhed : Father ^ I will) that thefe who??! thou hafl given me, 
may be with me where lam^ that they may behold my glory. 
O ! what a high word was this to them, / will ! 
there was never a faint prayed fo. — In one word, in our 
nature at the end of the world, he will prefent his whole 
church to God, with the whole work of his laws and 
graces accompliflied in them ; and now he prefents them 
as the perfons given him out of fallen mankind, to be 
redeemed and faved, faying. Behold /, and the children 
^ whom thou hafl given me ; I prefent them to thy care^ 


22 God's Great Kindnefs to Men, 

that they may enjoy all the fruits of thy eternal love, 
and all the benefits of my death and facrifice. 

8 . Another inftance of God's kindnefs to our nature, 
in the perfon of Chrift, is his being in it the pattern and 
example to which all the people of God fhall be conformed 
in glory. The great God hath fet up the human na- 
ture of Chrift to be the ftandard or ftanding copy, ac- 
cording to which all believers fliould be framed and 
wrought, Rom. viii. 29. Whom he did foreknow^ he alfo 
did fredefl'inate to he conformed to the Image of his Son, that 
he might be the frjl-born among many brethren. To the i- 
mage of his Son ; not to the image of the moft holy 
man that ever was in the world ; not to Enoch, that 
lignal walker with God ; nor Noah, the only preacher 
of right eoufnefs in his day ; nor Abraham, who was 
God's friend, and the believer's father ; but his own Son 
in the human nature. Not only is he the great pattern 
and example of grace, wherefore the work of grace is 
called the forming of Chrift in the foul, and a changing 
the fame into the image of Chrift ; but it is the pattern 
of glory as well as of grace, and that both in foul and 
body: in foul ; 1 Cor. xv. 4. As zue have born the image 
of the earthly, we fJmll alfo bear the image of the heavenly 
Ada?n. I John iii. 2 . When he fljall appear, we fhall be 
like him; for we fl^ all fee him as he is. In body like- 
wife, Phil. iii. 21. Who fhall change our vile bodies, that 
they may be fafhioned like to his glorious body. Here we have 
both the meannefs of the prefent ftate of the body, and 
the glory of its future ftate : the meannefs of the pre- 
fent ftate of the bod v. it is a vile body ; or our body of 
this vilenefs. Some derive this word from one which fig- 
nifies to bury, expreffing it to be fuch a corrupt and for- 
did thing, as if, with Lazarus, it had been four days 
ftinking in the grave : others derive it from a word 
which fignifies to ftamp and^tread under foot ; implying 
our bodies to be of fo low and bafe an extraction, as 

2M C H R I S T J E S U S. 23 

to be meet for nothing but to be caft out upon the dung- 
hill, and trampled under the foot of man and beaft. 
Whether dead or alive it is a vile thing, yea, vilenefs 
itfelf; but at the refurrection, it fhall be made like 
Chrift's glorious body, which muft be raviiliingly beau- 
tiful. It is not like Chrift's body in his ftate of humi- 
liation, which yet was full of beauty, though the blind 
world could not fee it ; but it is like Chrift's glorified 
body, which muft needs excell in glory. O what ho- 
nour is this to our nature, to be the example of all the 
glory of the faints, that he might be the frjl-born among 
many brethren? "What an obligation is this on us, to 
ftudy likencfs to him in the frame of our foul, in our 
thoughts, words, and actions ? As he which hath called 
us is holy^ Jo we fhould he holy in all manner of converfation. 
9. Another inftance of the kindnefs of God to our 
nature, in the perfon of Chrift, is its being admitted 
to more glorious communion with Gody than all other 
creatures. It is a high, great, and gloriovis commu- 
nion, which angels and the fpirits of juft men made 
perfect have with God ; but the communion that our 
nature, in the perfon of Chrili;, hath with God, is far 
higher; for the union is nearer, and the nearer the u- 
nion, the fweeter and fuller the cominunion. Why 
is the communion of hufband and wife, fuller than that 
of friend and friend ? but becaufe the union is cloler ; 
and fo it is here : the human nature of Chrift is nearer 
the fountain than any of the creatures are, and fo its 
communion muft be fuller; nay, the communications 
of God to the human nature of Chrift are of another 
kind, than thofe to all the other creatures, becaufe they 
are founded on the union of his perfon ; a privilege 
which no other creature can pretend to, or be made a 
partaker of. In one word, the way of the communi- 
cations of the divine nature to the human, is what we 
are ignorant of; only we may fay, there is nothing like 

24 God's Great Kindnefs to Men^ 


them, nor equal to them, in all the ways and works 
of God. 

10. Another inftance of God's kindnefs to our na- 
ture in the perfon of Chrift, is its being in the full en- 

' joyment of all bleffednefs^ Pfal. xxi* 6. For thou haft made 
him mofl hleffed for ever : thou haft made him exceeding glad 
with thy countenance. The humanity of Chrift coniifts 
of two parts, foul and body; and both of thefe enjoy 
all happinefs. In his foul he hath unfpeakable joy, 
Pfal. xvi. 14. l^hou wilt fhew me the path of life ; iri thy 
frefence is fulnefs of joy ^ and at thy right hand are f leaf ures 
for ever?nore ; which is fpoken of fuch pleafures as Jefus 
Chrift enjoyeth at the right hand of God. Our Lord 
Jefus hath fuch joy and pleafure as no creature hath ; 
hence is that word, Pfal. xlv. 6, where fpeaking of 

, Chrift as exalted at God's right-hand, he faith. Thy 
throne, O God, is for ever and ever : therefore God thy God 
hath anointed thee with the oil of gladnefs above thy fellows, 
Whilft he was on earth he was a man of forrows, fuch 
as no man had ; now when he comes to heaven, he hath 
fuch joy as no man nor angel hath. As his forrows did 
abound, his confolations do now much more abound. 

idly, I am next to mention fome inftances of God's 
kindnefs to our persons in and throug^h Chrift Tefus. 
God has not only been kind to our nature in the perfon 
of Chrift, but to our perfons in and through Chrift ; and 
his kindnefs to our nature in Chrift's perfon, is tht foun- 
dation of his kindnefs to our perfons through Chrift.: 
thereby we have a fpiritual or myftical union with him, 
which is fo near and intimate, that as by the hypoftatical, 
there is one ferfon, fo by this myftical union, believers 
and their head make one church : for, as the body is one, 
and hath many members, and all the members of that one 
body being" many, are one body ; fo alfo is Chrift, So that 
the church is nothing but Chrift difplayed by his near- 
nefs to our nature : where alfo a foundation is laid for 

in CtiRist Jesus. is 

for greater familiarity with God, than ever Adam him- 
felf, in a ilate of innocence, was capable of; for, tho' 
Adam was the Son of God by creation, yet the natural 
Son of God was not then become the Son of man by his 
incarnation: and at this door comes in the believer's 
fweetell communion with God ; and the believer's fweet- 
eft communion with God is through this channel. 

But we proceed to mention the fruits of his kind- 
ncfs to our perfons : and a few of many fliall fuiEce. 

I . The firft and deepeft of ail, is eleSiion : that facred and 
eternal pnrpofe of God's grace, in Chriftjefus our Lord ; of 
which we read, 2 Tim. i. 9. Who hath favediis, and called 
i^y with an holy callings not according to our ivorks^ but ac- 
cording to his oiv7i purpofe and grace, which was given us 
in Chrijl Jefus^ before the world began. From all eternity, 
a certain number of loft mankind were deiigned, chofen, 
and lingled out by God, to be the objects of his free 
grace ; and this was kindncfs, and kindnefs through Chrift : 
For there was no difference between them and the pe- 
rifliino^ multitude of mankind ; and he chofe them to 
the infallible attainment of grace and glor)^ Perhaps 
there was as much kindnefs herein as ever he difcover- 
ed iince, or will manifeft to all eternity. Our God 
does not love as man, who begins to love a little, and 
then is drawn on to love more, and to do more than 
he intended at firft ; no : but all the srrace and favour 
which is beftowed on us, was given us, fotofpeak, in one 
lump from eternity ; and all that fliall be beftowed to eter- 
nity is but the m.anifeftation of it, 2 Tim. i. 9, i o. ^he grace 
which ivai given us before the world began, but now is made 
manifefl in Chrijl, who hath brought life and immortality to 
light through the gofpel. So that immortality ferves but to 
manifeft the love and kindnefs which were given at firft. 
All that is done fince, is but to fhow^ what love hath pre- 
pared to entertain us with, and is fet out with new inven- 
tions, and devifed ways, to attract our hearts : htnce 


26 God's Great Kindnejs to Men^ 

the very death of Chiift is called only a commending 
his love, Rom. v. 8. But God commendeth his love towards 
uSy, in that while we were Jinners^ Chrijl died for us. 
" The love (as one fays) in bullion ; the whole mafs of 
" it was in his heart from eternity \ and all he doth 
" to eternity is but the coining of it, (lamping this or 
" that particular mercy, and fo paying it forth to us :" 
For the mercy of the Lord is from everlafling to everlafling: 
the Lord will perfect that which concerns me. And as it 
is great kindnefs, fo it is kindnefs through Chrift, Eph. 
i. 4. According as he hath chofen us in him. It is not 
for Chrift, as if he had puichafed the love of election, 
in regard electing love pailed firft on Chrift the head, 
and then on his people as the body. Election deter- 
mines all the perfons, it determined all the bleffings 
thefe perfons were to be blefTed with ; and it deter- 
mined the way, in which thefe bleffings were to be 
given to them 5 and this way was Chrift, the new and 
living way. 

2. His entering into a covenant of grace with Chrift, 
and with us in him, or with him in our name and room, 
1 jefore any creature exifted, Pfal. Ixxxix. 3 . / have made 
a covenant with my chofen. The great God forefeeing 
from all eternity, that the covenant of works, made 
with Adam as our head, would be broken, and all man- 
kind ruined by the breach, and not willing that the 
whole race fhould be loft, entered into a covenant Vv^ith 
Chrift the fecond Adam, head of the elect ; a noble 
plan for recovering of loft finners, and fecuring them 
when recovered: So in Zech. vi. 13. the council of peace 
is faid to be between them both : he propofed to him the 
covenant in the full tenor, promifes, and condition 
thereof; to which he readily confented. Behold the 
folemnity of the tranfaclion in thefe words. No facrifice 
nor offering didfl thou at all defire^ &c. This was kindnefs, 
confideruig there was nothing in us to move him there- 

iK C H R I S T J E S U S. 2/ 

to; neither man's goodnefs, nor badnefs could be a 
motive : not his goodnefs ; for while man flood he could 
merit nothing from God, and far lefs when he was 
fallen : nor his badnefs ; for why then Ihould not the , 
miferies of fallen angels have moved him to make a 
covenant for them? This cpvenant is juft a compound 
of kindnefs and grace: and hence it is a covenant of 
grace, in regard the ff ring whence it came was grace; 
/ have /aid, mercy Jh all he built up for ever: in regard the 
matter of it is grace ; The law was given by Mofes, but 
grace and truth tame by Jefus Chrifl'. and in regard the 
ultimate fcope and end of it is the glory of grace. All the 
bleflings in time and eternity, the fubjecls of grace en- 
joy, are to the praife and glory of that grace they fpring 
from. It is a defign of grace that is carried on in this 
covenant : That in the ages to come^ he might Jhew the eX' 
ceeding riches of his grace, 

3. The purchafe of redemption is another fruit of his 
kindnefs to our perfons: His redeeming us by Chrift 
Jefus in the fulnefs of time, Eph. i. 7. In him we have 
redemption through his blood. In the covenant of grace 
God required of our Lord a price of redemption, iu 
honour to his law and juftice, in love and mercy to 
his chofen, and in a defign of glory to Chrift ; namely, 
that in the fulnefs of time he Ihould affume human nature, 
and in that nature be born holy, live righteoufly, and 
die as a Surety ; to which he readily confented, faying, 
Lo, I come : — / delight to do thy will, O my God, Ac- 
cordingly in the fulnefs of time, God feiit forth his 
Son ; the Son came, and in that nature paid tlie 
price in full meafure, heaped up, and running over ; 
he gave himfelf a facrif.ce, and an o-ffcrin<J to God of a fweet 
fmeliing favour. This was kindnefs and the highejl 
kindnefs: Rom. v. 8. But God commends his love towards 
us, in that while we were finners Chrift died for us. The 
high eft manifeftation of love. It was the high eft tri;il, 

D 2 . 

•28 God's Great Kindne/s to Men^' 

and greateft difcovery of Abraham's love to God, that 
he had a heart to give his fon for him ; and it is the 
higheft trial, and greateft difcovery of the love of God 
to men, to give his Son : In this was manifejled the love 
cf God, We may fay of this acl of kindnefs, as the 
apoftle fays of God's fwearing, that hecaufe he could 

Jwear by no greater^ he Jware by himfelf ; fo, becaufe he 
could manifeft his love in no greater, or in no higher 
a way, he gave his Son : accordingly there is an empha- 
ticalyo put to it, God so loved the world. If the devil fay 
unto you, thou haft fo and fo finned ; reply, God hath 
fo loved me, that he gave his Son for me. The apoftle 
John intimates that the love of God in making us fons, 

, is inexpreflible ; i John iii. i. Behold what manner of 
Jove the Father hath bejlowed upon us^ that we Jhould be 
called the fons of God! What fhall we fay to this? He 
that fpared not his own Son, but delivered him up to the 
death for us all -, how will he not ivith him alfo freely give 
us all things f 

4. The gift of the Spirit is alfo a fruit of his kindnefs 
to our perfons ; and his fending him into our hearts. 
When God, out of fovereign kindnefs, deiigned the 
great and glorious work of our falvation, he appointed, 
in his infinite wifdom, two great means ; whereof the 
one was his giving his Son for us, and the other was 
his giving his Spirit to us : accordingly in the fulnefs 
pf time he fent forth his Son to procure falvation ; and 
in confequence thereof he fends forth the Spirit of his 
Son to apply it: he fends him not only in his graces 
and comforts, but in his perfon, to inhabit our fouls ; 
Horn. ^^iii. 11. If tJj^" Spirit of him^ that raifed up 
Jefus from the dead^ dwell in you. That is kindnefs, 
and kindnefs through ChriJJ ; for it is not by works of 
righteoufnefs luhich vje have done^ but according to his 
percy he faved uSj by the zvafhin^ of regeneration, and re- 
flawing of the Holy Ghofl^ which be fl;ed en us abundantly^ 

in CukistJesvs. > 29 

through Jefus Chrift our Saviour^ Titus iii. 5, 6. It has 
been difputcd, whether the Son given for us^ or the Spirit 
qiven to us, be the richeft favour? Whether God made 
man'tfejl in the flejh^ or the pouring out of the Spirit on all 
flefh, be the greateft kindnefs : both of them are divine 
perfons ; both of them come down from heaven ; and 
both .of them are pledges of the fame love : the 
one fliews his love in dying for us, and the other 
fliews his love in dwellina: in us. It was infinite love 
in the Son, to come down from heaven and become like 
one of us ; and it is infinite love in the Spirit, to come 
into man's heart full of all defilement. The Son's 
down-coming procured all good, and the Spirit's in- 
coming effecluates all good. There is no fpiritual and 
faving good communicated to us from firft to laft, but 
by the Holy Ghoft ; he who hath not the Spirit of Chrift 
never received fpecial love, grace, and mercy from God. 
For if any man have ?iot the Spirit of Chrifl he is none of 

5. Union to his perfon is another fruit of his kindnefs. 
He unites us to the perfon of Chrift, in a myftical 
manner, which is the firft fignal ifTue and effecl of 
the inhabitation of the Holy Ghoft. The foul of man 
will be united to fomething; if it be not united to 
God, and to Chrift, it will be united to fin, Satan, and 
the world : accordingly, ever fince God and the foul of 
man parted, it has been united to one or all of thefe three, 
who are nowife proper matches for immortal fouls : 
but in due time, the God and Father of our Lord Jefus, 
dlffolves its union with thefe unhallowed objects, and 
unites the fouls of his people to our Lord Jefus, fo clofe- 
ly that they are one Spirit with him : So that he is in 
them as the head in the body, and the root in the branch- 
es ; and they in him as the body in the head, and the 
branches in the root. This is kindnefs, mere kindnefs ; 
for nature can do nothing to bring this about. And it 

3d God's Great Kindnefs to Men, 

is great kindnefs, whether we confider the honour, or 
the happinefs of it : the honour of it, which is the great- 
eft that poffibly can be put upon our perfons, as the 
hypoftatic was the greateft could be put on our natures : 
it is an honour not put on angels ; for angels are his 
honourable fubjecls, but not his myftical members. 
They are as the nobles of the kingdom, but believers 
are the fppufe of the king, that lies in his bofom ; Ifa. 
liv. 5. Thy maker is thy husband. This is kindnefs, con- 
lidering the happinefs and the foul-enriching nature of 
it. By virtue of this union they are inteftered in 
the unfearchable riches of Chrift : his perfon is theirs ; 
I am my beloved* s^ and my beloved is mine : his perfedions 
are theirs; his offices theirs; his relations theirs; his 
righteoufnefs theirs ; his vidories theirs ; yea, all is theirs : 
as the Father faid to his Son in the gofpel, All that I 
have is thine^ and thou art ever with me : fo fays Chrift 
to them ; thou art ever with me, and all that I have is 
thine: All things are yours ^ and ye are Chrijl^s, 

6. His bringing them into a new-covenant relation 
with himfelf as their God, is another fruit of his kind- 
nefs ; for fo runs the promife, / will be your God. Na- 
tural men are without God ; at that time ye were with- 
out Gody and without hope : but in and through Chrift, 
God makes over himfelf to them ; he is not afliamed to 
be called their God. As he gave the blood of his Son 
to feal the covenant, fo he gives himfelf as the blefling 
of the covenant ; all he is and has, and all he hath pro- 
mifed to do, or can do. This is kindnefs indeed, con- 
fidering, that hereby they are eftabhilied in the fweeteft 
relation to God : it is the richeft intereft in God, the 
neareft and deareft communion with him. O what fa- 
miliarity is there in that relation ! what fulnefs in that 
intereft ! what felicity in that communion ! This familia- 
rity is moft delightfid ; this fuiHciency is mo^fatisfying ; 
this felicity is moft ravijJiing. So when the Pfalmift 

fii Christ Jesus. 31 

had reckoned up many outward bleffings, and there- 
upon concluded, ! the happinefs of that people that is 
infuch a cafe! by way of corredlion he adds, Yea, hap- 
py is that people whofe God is the Lord, Pfal. cxliv. 15.; 
that is, of all others they are the happieft. 

7. The jujlijication of their perfons is his kindnefs to 
them through Chrift Jefus. As the people of God by 
nature are dead in reality, fo they are dead in law ; ly- 
ing under the fentence of it, and fo bound over to the 
wrath of God : but God in due time unites them to 
Chrift, and on account of his righteoufnefs abfolves 
them from the fentence of the law, and makes them 
live in law-reckoning, to be as free from the command 
of the law, as a covenant of works, as if they had ne- 
ver been under it : and as free from the curfe of the 
law, as if they had never been guilty of the tranfgref- 
fion of it ; for. By hi?n all that believe are jiiflified from 
all things from which they could not be jujlifed by the Lnv 
of Mofes. Our Lord Jefus has wrought out a righte- 
oufnefs, fully anfwering all the demands of the lav/ ; 
this righteoufnefs is tendered to all in the gofpel, to be 
embraced by faith, and really made the property of the 
believing finner in the moment of his union with Chrift: 
In this his people live, in this they die, as a ftandard- 
bearer under his colours. No fooner is this rightcoiit- 
nefs on them than all their iniquities are blotted out, 
and their perfons accepted as really (to fpcak with re- 
verence) as Chrift himfelf was ; the ground of his and 
their acceptation being one and the fame. This is 
kindnefs, vaji khidnefs indeed ; for. We are jujlificd 
freely by his grace, &;c. Hence the Pfalmift cries out, 

O the bleffedncfs of that man whofe tranfgreffion is forgiven, 
whofe fin is covered, Pfal. xxxii. i. 

8. His kindnefs is manifeftcd in his adopting them to 
his family. Naturally we are illegitimate, without any 
•yelatiou to God \ we may indeed call God our Judge, 

32 God's Great Kindnefs to Men, 

but not our Father. But the God and Father of our 
Lord Jefus, of flaves makes us fons ; in the way of u- 
nion to his only begotten Son, makes us adopted fons. 
This is kindnefs ; i John iii, i. Behold what manner of 
love^ the Father hath heft owed .upon us^ that we fhould be 
called the fons of God, Well might he put a behold^ whe- 
ther we confider the author, the fubjecls, the leading caufe, 
the coftlinefs, the dignity or happinefs of this privilege. — 
If we confider the author of it, the great and glorious God, 
who is fo far above us, fo happy within himfelf, and need- 
eth not us nor our choiceil love and fervice, who has a 
Son of his own, our Lord Jefus, the eternally begotten 
of the Father, the Son of his love, in whom his foul 
finds fuch complacency, and delight. — The ferfons a- 
dopted, mlferable finners, who were ftrangers and ene- 
mies to God, children of wrath even as others, heirs of 
God's curfe, dead in trefpafles and fins, and who had 
cafi: away the kindnefs of their creation : that fi:rangers 
fhould be taken into the family ; that enemies fliould 
not only be reconciled, but adopted ; that children of 
wrath, fliould be called to inherit a blefiing ; and that 
thefe v/ho are dead in trefpafies and fins, fliould be be- 
gotten again to a lively hope, is what we may well won- 
der at. — The leading caufe TixiA foundation of this privilege. 
Love, eternal love ; for we were fredeftinated to the adop- 
tion' of children before the foundation of the world ; \t\%fpecial 
and peculiar love, and not common : in this the children 
of God are manifefled^ and the children of the deviL — The 
coftUnefs of it ; for our Lord behoved to be our brother, 
before God would be our father, and to take a mother 
on earth, that we might have a father in heaven. — As 
to the dignity of it, it is a matter rather to be wondered 
at than told : David fays, Seemeth it a light thing to you 
to be the king's fon in lawf but we may with better rea- 
lon fay. Is it nothing to be taken into God's family, 
and to become fons and daughters to the mofl High? 

fw C H R I S T J E S U S. 33 

As to the privileges arifmgfromit, they are inexpreffible; 
fuch as, pity, proteclion, correftion, and inftni^lion: 
in line, all the privileges the Father of mercies doth 

9. The regeneration of their natures is his kindnefs to 
them in Chrift Jefiis : hence the apoille fays in the pre- 
ceding context, He hath quickened us together with Chrifl, 
The people of God, by nature, are dead in trefpajfes and 
in fins^ as well as others ; altogether depraved, and 
wrong fet, till God renew and re6lify them by rege- 
nerating grace. Original corruption, like a fretting 
leprofy, overfpreads their whole fouls, from the crown, 
of the head, to the fole of the foot. But our Lord, iu 
the time prefixed in his purpofe and grace, renews 
them all over: " Grace fets up its enfigns (as one ex- 
" preffes it) in all parts of the foul ; furveys eveiy cor- 
'' ner, and triumphs over every lurking enemy :" Well, 
this is kindnefs^ and great kindnefs, through Chrift je- 
fus, I Pet. i. 3 . Blejfed be the Gqd and Father of our Lord 
Jefus^ who according to his abundant 7nercy hath begotten 
us again unto a lively hope by the refurredion of Jefus Chrijl 
from the dead. It is according to his own mercy^ and 
from no other motive ; according to his abundant mer-- 
cy^ and without any parfimony. The eternal and im- 
mutable love of God, like a mighty river, ran under 
ground until the fiilnefs of time, when it took its hid- 
den courfe through the heart of Chrift : in their regene- 
ration it breaks forth vifibly, and runs above ground. 
Tit. iii. /\. But after the love and kindnefs of God our Sa^ 
viour towards man appeared, — How did it appear^ and 
when? why. According to his mercy he favcd iis^ by the 


10. Another inftance of his kindnefs to their perfons 
through Chrift, is his giving them an iinfinged death. 
Die they muft, as well as others, that the ftatute paft 
in the court of heaven may not be broken, wherein it 

^ E 

4 God's Great Kindnefs to Men^ 

is appointed for all men once to die : but as to the fting 
of death, they fliall never feel it, for all their fins are 
pardoned ; and their fins being pardoned, the fling of 
death is removed, the fling of death being fin. This is 
kindnefsy and kindnefs indeed^ in that our Lord Jefus, 
by dying, hath conquered death ; and by being fhut up 
in the grave, hath opened it. He died for their fins, 
who himfelf knew no fin ; and fo, receiving in him- 
felf the fting of fin, hath plucked out that fling as to 
them ; as it is faid by fome, that the bee flriking its fling 
upon a dead body retains it ftill; but flriking it into a 
living body lofes its fling, and becomes ufelefs or dies : 
fo death, flriking his fling into Chrifl's living body, 
wherein was no fpiritual deadnefs, hath lofl his fling 
as to Chrift's members for ever ; and this enables them 
to bid death defiance, faying with the apoftle, deaths 
where is thy fling f O grave^ where is thy vidory, 

II. Laflly, He fliews his kindnefs in their refurreBi- 
on and glorifcaticn. The people of God mufl not only 
die, but their bodies be locked up in the grave for fome 
time ; but a God of kindnefs, who hath the key of the 
grave, will certainly open it, and take them out; he 
will raife them up again, and that with advantage. He 
has raifed the head, and he will raife the members ; 
Rom. viii. 1 1. But if the Spirit of him that raifed up 
Jefts from the dead dwell in you^ he that raifed up Chrijl 
from the dead fhall alfo quicken your mortal bodies by his 
Spirit that dwelleth in you. It is true, the wicked fhall 
be raifed, as well as the godly, but there is a vafl dif- 
ference in the manner and foundation of the refurreclion 
of the one and the other : as wicked men never flept in 
Jefus ^ fo neither fhall they be quickened by his Spirit 
dwelling in them^ which will be the cafe with the faints. 
— Wicked men will not rife by virtue of the merit of 
Chriil's death ; but believers will : wicked men will be 
railed by the power of Chrifl, as a Judge ; but believers 
by his povver^ as their Head^ Mediator, and Redeemer: 

t« C H R I S T J E S U 8* 2S 

Wicked men will not rife in Chrift as a common perfon, 
leprefenting them ; but believers will : wicked men fliall 
be raifed in wrath ; but God will raife up believers in 
his kindnefs towards them^ thro' Chrifl Jefus : for thefc 
who Jleep in Jefus will God bring with him. 

Glorification follows this, and it is like wife his kind- 
nefs to us through Chrift Jefus : For the gift of God is 
eternal life through Chrijl Jefus our Lord. This is the 
"kindnefs fome would have to be chiefly meant in the 
text, "That in the ages to come ; that is, in eternity, when 
time fliall be no more, he might fhew the exceeding riches 
of his grace. God (as if he had faid) has pulled you out 
of your natural condition, he hath quickened you toge- 
ther with Chrift ; he hath raifed you up in him repre- 
fentatively, and fet you together with him in heavenly 
places ; but all this is only a foundation, a preparation 
for eternal happinefs in heaven hereafter. God is rich 
in mercy, in quickening them, in juftifying them, ' and 
in fanclifying them ; but all thefe are only an earneft 
of the riches to come in glorification. All the riches 
of grace expended on them here, are but fprinklings of 
thefe riches he will expend on them to eternity. O 
what a world of mercy and loving kindnefs follows, 
and purfues every one of his children ! He purfues them 
with one loving kindnefs after another : but when thev 
come to heaven, loving kindnefs will overwhelm' and 
fwallow them up through endlefs ages. And it will be 
all through Chrift Jefus : for we could not ftand under 
tliat lovino: kindnefs, that exceeding: and eternal wei<>-ht 
of fiflorv, if it were not conveyed to us throujrh him : 
it would be too weighty for us. Leaving this I come, < 

II. To the Second Hcadj namely. To confider the oh- 
jeds of all this kindnefs. Who are they upon whom 
fuch unbounded goodnefs is conferred ? Upon hear- 
ing of fuch s-reat kindnefs men would be rcadv to ap- 

E 2 

'36 GoD^s Great Kindnefs to Men, 

prehend them very confiderable perfons ; but the cafe is 
quite the reverfe : free grace takes a way peculiar to itfelf. 
So, as great a favourite of free grace as ever it had, I 
mean the Pfalmift David, declares ; David fat before the 
Lord^ and he fa'id^ Who am /, and what is my father* s 
houfe^ that thou hajl brought me hitherto f Is this the man-- 
ner of man ^ L/)rdf No ; but it is the manner of grace : 
the us to whom God is a kind God, through Chrift, are 
very infignificant creatures ; and in order to fliew this, 
let me enquire, i. What they are as creatures, 2. What 
tliey are 2i?>ftnners, 

ifty What are they as creatures f As creatures, 

1. They are juft handfuls of dufl and afhes^ to whom 
God is a God of kindnefs ; Gen. iii. 7. And the Lord God 
formed man of the dujl of the ground. It is true, the foul 
of man is created out of nothing, and breathed imme- 
diately into him by God ; but his body is nothing but 
duft, moulded into fuch a comely fhape : it is no better 
than the dung he treads on. We read in the hiftory of 
the plagues of Egypt, that the magicians in it were not 
able fo much as to bring forth flies out of the duft of 
the ground : but God could rear fuch a beavitiful ftruc- 
ture as man's body out of it. But though this fpeaks 
forth God's power, it lliews our bafenefs and ivorthlefs- 
nefs ; fpr what can be more bafe and defpicable than 
duft? And alfo q\\x frailty: duft hath \\q coherence, or 
conftftence ; but is eafily fcattered with every puff" of 
wind: fo is our dufty tabernacle, with every blaft of 
God's difpleafure : Thou takefl away, their breath ; they 
die and return to their duft, 

2. As creatures thtj tlxq frail grafs, Ifa. xl. 6. And 
the voice faid^ Cry ;. and he faid^ what (hall I cryf All 

Jlefb is grafs^ and all the goodlinefs thereof is as the flower 
^f the field:, the grafs withereth^ the flower fadeth^ becaufe 
the Spirit of the Lord bloweth upon it ; furely the people is 
grafs, Sq it is with man, he cometh forth as a,. 

f« C H R I S T J E S U S. 37 

flower, and is cut down by the fcythe of death ; his 
ftanding is fo fliort that it is not fo much as mentioned. 
Some naturalifts tell us of a plant called ephemeron, be- 
caufe it lafts but one day : fuch a flower is man ; we are 
born to die, and we die as foon as we are born. Pfa. 
ciii. 1 5 5 1 6 . As for man his days are as grafs^ as a flower 
of the field fo he floiirijheth : the wind faff eth over it ^ and 
it is gone ; and the place thereof fJmll know it no more. 

3 . As creatures they are worms crawling upon God*s 
footilool : Job xxv. 6. How much lefs man that is a worm^ 
and the fon of man that is a worm ? A worm is one of 
the meanefl of creatures ; and the word here ufed ligni- 
fies a little worm which breeds in fleili, or any other 
kind of food, when it is corrupted: fuch a worm is 
man whom God is fo kind to. A worm is- a vile crea- 
ture ; and fo are they. A worm is a weak creature ; 
it wears no arms ; and fuch is man : and he is going to 
worms, as a worm ; and when he comes to the grave 
it will be worm to worm: Job xvii. 14. / have f aid to 
corruption^ Thou art my father ; to the worm^ thou art my 
mother^ and my fifer* O what little reafon have we to 
be proud of ourfelves ! O why does man fwell above 
the clouds, or proudly make his reft among the ftars, 
when he muft fliortly fall among the clods, and be 
food for the defpicable infect upon which he treads. 

4. As creatures they ate nothings yea, lefs than no- 
thing and vanity. Pfal. cxliv. 3. Lord^ what is inany 

, that thou takefl knowledge of him ^ or the fon of man ^ that 

' thou makefl account of him f Man is like to vanitj^ : a 

mere outfide ; an empty nothing ; a founding brafs and 

tinkling cymbal : like a cypher without a figure to give 

it fignificance, they ftand for nothing in God's accompt : 

take them all in a clufter, or as bundled up together, and 

they are nothing, and lefs than nothing, according to that 

^ text, Ifa. xl. 17. All nations are before him as nothings and 

' ihey are accounted by him lefs than nothings and vanity. 


38 Go d's Grefit Kindnefs to Men, 

2dly^ What are they, to whom God is a God of 
kindnefs through Chrift, 2.^ftnnersf As finners, 

I. They are a company of -i^ooT impotent wretches; 
Rom. V. 6, While we were yet without flrength^ in due 
time Chrift died for the ungodly : he does not fay, while 
we were without great flrength, but without Jlrength. 
Nor does he fay while a part of us was without ftrength, 
but while we all, without exception, were without Jlrength, 
in due time Chrift died for the ungodly. Thefe to 
whom he is a God of kindnefs can do much to diflio- 
nour, but nothing to glorify him ; much to provoke, 
but nothing to pleafe him ; they can neither think, 
fpeak, nor acl to his glory ; Without me ye can do nothing : 
they cannot fpeak; for as plentiful a fountain the cor- 
ruption of man is, they cannot fay Jefus is Lord, but by 
the Holy Ghojl : and for as numerous an hive of thoughts 
his heart produces, he cannot think any good thought 
of himfelf ; We are not fufficient of our f elves to think any thing 
ixs of ourfelves. O how does this commend God's kind- 
nefs! Who amongft us would love, and take into our 
bofoms, one who cannot ftand, but while fupported ; 
nor rife, but when lifted ; nor move a member, but as 
moved ? and yet fucli were the us^ to whom he is a God 
of kindnefs. 

2. They 2irc poor or impoverijhed creatures: not only 
could they do nothing, but they had nothing. Whom 
do we reckon poorer, than they who have neither meat 
to put in their mouths, nor raiment to put on their 
bodies, nor money in their pockets ; and befides are 
deeply in debt ? Such is the fituation of the perfons to 
whom God is a God of kindnefs, whether they think 
it or not. Rev. iii. 17. Becaufe thou fayefl I am rich^ 
and increafed with goods ^ and have need of nothing ; and 
knowejl not that thou art wretched^ and miferable^ and 
poory and blinds and naked. For food, they have no- 


m C H R I S T J E S U S. 39 

thing but the hufks of the fwine ; for raiment, they have 
nothing but filthy rotten rags ; for money, they have ^ 
no current coin, in the kingdom of heaven ; and be- 
iides, they owe a debt which all the riches of the world 
cannot difcharge : For we are not redeemed with corrupt 
t'lhle things^ as fiher and gold^ hut with the -precious. 
blood of Chrifl, O what a wonder, that he {hould love 
and be kind to poverty 1 

3 . They are deformed creatures \ and therefore, not 
only without beauty, but covered over with uglinefs, and 
loathfome deformity: they are fpiritual monfters. Would 
they not be monfters in nature, who Ihould have their 
feet where their head fhould be, and the breaft where 
the back fhould be ? Well, fuch are they, in a Iphitual 
fenfe, to whom God is a God of kindnefs : " Their heartfi 
" (as one fays) are where their feet fhould be, fixed on 
*^ the earth ; their heels are lifted up againft heav^en, 

which their hearts fhould be fet on ; tlieir faces are 
towards hell, and their backs towards heaven ; and 

*' therefore God calls them to turn. They love what 
they fhould hate, and hate w^hat they fliould love y 
they rejoice in that, for which they fhould mourn, 
and mourn for that in which they fliould rejoice ; 
they glory in their fhame, and are afliamed of their 
glory ; abhor what they fliould defire, and defire 
what they fhould abhor.'* O that God ftiould fcfc 

his love on, and be kind to fuch monfters! 

4. They are dead creatures, alienated from the life of 
God ; Eph. ii. i . Tou hath he quickened who were dead in 
trefpaffes and fins. They are not only as the man in the 
gofpel, half dcid^ but quite dead ; dead in trefpaffes and 
in fins ^ in fins of all forts ; dead again and again with ten 
thoufand deaths, like a man whofe body is full of deadly 
wounds through his vitals. It is true, they are natu- 
rally alive, but they are fpiritually dead \ their fouls are 
dead fouls \ their faith, dead faith \ their works, dead 



40 God's Great Kindnefs to Men, 

works: they are alive to fin, but they are dead to God, 
and godlinefs ; and yet God fliews wonders of kindnefs 
to the dead: But God who is rich in mercy ^ &c. There is 
no beauty in the dead : however lovely perfons be in 
their life, they muft be buried out of our light when 
dead ; but our God is a God that quickens the dead. 

5. They are mad and dijlraded creatures ; Eccl. ix. 3. 
The heart of the fons of men is full of evil ^ and madnefs is 
in their heart while they live. There is a twofold mad- 
nefs ; a madnefs in the intelleftuals, which is folly ; and 
madnefs in the paffions, which is rage and fury : and in 
both thefe refpecls men are mad. They are mad in in- 
tellectuals, being fools ; hence they efteem the trifles of 
time more than the bleffednefs of eternity ; and prefer 
the broken ciftern to the fountain of living water. They 
are mad in their paffions; hence their hearts are fully fet 
in them to do evil : it is as impoffible for luft to flop itfelf, 
as for the fea to give over fwelling, or the fire devour- 
ing, whatever is before it. The man pofiefl: with a le- 
gion of devils was a notable emblem of our evil nature ; 
of whom it is fald, that he was exceeding fierce^ no man 
durfl fafs by him^ nor could chams hold him : hence we 
are compared to a horfe rufhing into the battle, who fears 
nothing; to a backfliding heifer^ whom no bonds can 
hold ; to a wild afs^ that goes where his own will and 
lufts carry him, without a rider to guide, or a bridle to 
reftrain him. O how does this commend his kindnefs t 
for who would affedlionately embrace madmen, difi:racl:- 
ed perfons ? and yet our Lord does it daily, when the 
prodigal comes to him. 

6. l^hcy Tive enemies ; Col. i. 21. And you that were 
fometimes aliens^ and enemies in your minds by wicked works ^ 
yet now hath he reconciled. And we are not only enemies, 
but enmity itfelf againfl: God : and enmity is irreconcile- 
able ; Rom. viii. 7. The carnal mind is e?mity againfl God. 
It is the nature of a wolf, to be an enemy to a lamb ; fa 

z« C H R I S T J E S U S. 4X 

it is the nature of the carnal mind, to be an enemy 
to God: let a wolf be put in a fhecp's fkin, and 
kept in the fold with the Ihecp, let it be fed with the 
fame food, tame it, and do with it what you will, it 
ftill remains a wolf; nor will the lamb and it be recon- 
ciled, till either the lamb become a wolf, or the wolf 
become a lamb: jull fo, take one of us, when dropt 
from the womb, put us into the church's coat, let us 
partake of the fame word and facraments with others^ 
and by thcfe means be never fo much tamed ; yet we 
remain flill in reality ravening wolves, enmity againft 
God, and all of God ; and yet he is kind to us in ChriiL 
O wonderful! that he fiiould love them unchangeably^ i 
who hate him implacably ; love them againft all provo- 
cations, who hate him without a caufe ; love them with 
a fuperlative love, who hate him with a perfect hatred. 
Behold what manner of love I 

7 . What are they to whom he is a God of kindnefs ? 
w^hy, they are rather devils than men ; John viii. 44. Yd 
are of your father the devils and the lufls of your father yd 
ivill do. Sin has tm^ned men into devils ; the fimd 
qualities vvhich are in the devil are in them. 1 he de-^vil 
liiis freely, and cannot but fm ; fo do they fin freely; 
it is fweet and pleafant muo them: they drink up ini^ 
quity like ivater ; and they cannot but fin. Having eyes 
full of adultery^ and that cannot ceafe from fn. The de- 
vil is for having notlung to do with our Lord Jefus ; 
What have I to do with thee^ J^fi^-^^ '^^^ ^o are men na- 
turally : though their life depends on their coming ta 
liim, yet they will rather die than do it ; 2> will not 
come to me that ye may have life, — In one v/ord, pride^ 
malice, averfenefs to God, hatred of his |:>€0p]e, anti-' 
pathy to his ways and ordinances, are the fame in booi^ 
and yet God is % God of kindnefs to fuch 1 

42 God's Great Kindnefs to Men^ 

III. The Third Head was to enquire, in what refpetls 
this kindnefs of God is through Chrift Jefus. And, 

1 . It is through Chrift Jefus, in regard he fronts all 
the kindnefs of God to his people; Col. i. i8. That in 
all things he jnight have the pre-eminence ; or, as the words 
may be read, that he might ^ry? it in all things: he 
fronts the kindnefs oi eleBion; for we are chofen in him: — 
the kindnefs oi juflijication; in the Lord fi all all the feed 
of Ifrael be jufiifed : — the kindnefs oi fanSlification ; for, 
if the fr/l fruits be holy^ the lump is alfo holy : — the kind- 
nefs of adoption ; I afcend to my Father and your Father ;— 
the kindnefs of a glorious refurredion ; for he rofe as the 

fir ft fruits of the/n that flee p : — and the kindnefs oi glorifi- 
catio7i ; If ive fuffer with him we flmll alfo be glorifed with 
him? This is a great honour done to our Lord Jefus 
that he is both worthy of, and able to hold all the kind- 
nefs, all the grace, and glory, ever God meant to beftow 
on the objects of his fpecial kindnefs. As the fun in the 
firmament, if the objecls in this fyftem were ten thou- 
fand times more numerous than they are, has light e- 
nough to enlighten them ; fo, tho' the objecls of God's 
fpecial kindnefs w^ere ten thoufand times more nume- 
rous than they are, there is light enough in the Sun of 
KighteoLifnefs to enlighten them. 

2. His kindnefs is throug-h Chrift lefus, in re2:ard 
that all God's kindnefs to us flows from his kindnefs to 
him : believers fometimes conlider all their blefiing's as 
flowing from the love of Chrift to them ; but they fel- 
dom confider them as coming from the love of God to 
Chrift. But really God's love and kindnefs to our Lord 
Jefus, is the fountain of all his kindnefs to his people ; 
hence when our Lord is praying for kindnefs to his peo- 
ple, he ufes this argument, For thou lovedjl me before the 

foundation of the world! One would have thought the 
argument would have run as plainly thus, for thou 
lovedft tkem: nOy fays Chrift , for thou lovedft 7ne*~ 

2« C H R I S T J E S U S. 43 

EkBing kiiidnefs is from the Father's love to the Son ; 
hence it is faid, Grace was given us in Chriji Jefus before 
the world began, — Redeeming kindnefs is from the Fa- 
ther's love to the Son ; love to the Redeemer as well 
as the redeemed fent him to pay, and accepted the 
price of redemption from his hand. — Drawing kiodnefs 
is from the Father's love to the Son ; for, None can come 
to me^ except the Father which hath fent me draw him, — 
Juftifying kindnefs is from the Father's love to the Son ; 
for, We are accepted in the beloved, — Preferving kindnefs 
is from the Father's love to the Son ; Becaufe I live, ye 
fhall live alfo. — Glorifying kindnefs is from the Father's 
love to the Son ; At that day ye fhall know that I am in 
the Father, and the Father in me, — Yea, all the love and 
kindnefs believers partake of, is but a drop, a fprinkling 
of the kindnefs which the Father bears to Chriil Jefus. 

3. God's kindnefs is through Chrifi; Jefus, in regard 
his kindnefs to us is the fame with that which lie bears 
to him. The great God bears a kindnefs to our Lord 
Jefus, as his own Son, being the exprefs image of his 
perfon, who reprefents all his excellencies exacliy: he 
bears him kindnefs in his office as Mediator ; hence he 
himfelf fays. The Lord poffeffed me in the beginniiig of his 
ways, before his works of old. I was fet tip from everlaft- 
in<T ; from the bezinninn- ere ever the earth was^ Then was 
f J?y him, as one brought up with hivri, and I was dailv 
his delight. He bears him a kindnefs in his dyi)i(r, and 
FOR his dying; John x. 17, 18. Therefore doth my Father 
love me^ becaife I lay dmv-n my life: well, he bears the 
ilimc kindnefs to them, which he bears to him : his 
kindnefs to the head is not one, and his kindnefs to the 
members another ; but it is one and the fame : hence 
is that word, John xvii. 26. That the love wherewith 
thou haft loved me, may be in them, God loved Adam, 
but not v/ith that love and kindnefs wherewith he loves 
our Lord Jefus. He flill bears a love to the holv anreib; 

F 3 

44 Go d's Great Khidnefs to Men^ 

peverthelefs, it is not that love wherewith he loves our 
Lord Jefus : but he loves his people with the fame love, 
and the fame kindnefs wherewith he loves him ; Rom. 
viii. ^9. Neither height^ nor depths nor breadth^ nor lengthy 
Jhall feparate us from the love of God in Chrift Jefus our 
Lord There is a love indeed, which men have been, 
and are feparated from, viz. that which I firft mention- 
ed ; but if it be a love in Chrift Jefus ^ and if he loves 
with that kind of love wherewith he loves Chrift Jefus, 
there can be no feparation from it. 

4. God's kindnefs is through Chrift Jefus, in regard 
pll the fruits of this kindnefs were procured by him. 
They are to them the free gift of God through Jefus 
Chrift ; Rom. vi. 23. The gift of God is eternal life thro' 
Jefus Chrift, As free as the water in an open fountain. 
But they coft Chrift a very high price, the price of his 
blood. Their juftification is through the redemption that. 
is in Chrift Jefus. Their admiiTion into God's family, 
was procured by him ; for, Being made under the la'iv, 
he redee7ned them that were under the law^ that they 7night 
receive the adoption of fons. Their fanctification was by 
him procured ; for having loved the churchy he gave him- 
Jelf for i\ that he inight fanElify and cleanfe it. In a word. 

By the blood of his covenant^ he bri?ig^s them out of the pit 
in which there is no water. And having waftied their 
robes in this blood ; therefore the redeemed are before 
the throne. 

5. Kis kindnefs is through Chrift Jefus, in regard it 
is all difpenfed by him. He had the burden of purchaf- 
ing the fruits of God's love, and it is but equitable he 
fliould have the honour of difpenfmg them, to the chil- 
dren of men : For this end it plea fed God^ that in him 

Jljould all fulnefs dwell: and having it laid up in him, 
he was, in his exaltation on high, impowered to give 
it forth. He difpenfeth the Spirit according to his pro- 
inife, John xyi. 7. If I gi not away^^ the. Comforter 'Will 

m C H R I S T J E S IT S. 45 

jwt come imto you ; but if I depart ^ I will fend him unto 
you. He gives forth pardons to the guilty; for hint 
hath God exalted with his right hand^ a Frince and a Sa- 
viour^ for to give repentance to Ifraely and forgivenefs of 
Jtns^ Aclsv. 31. He confers life, eternal Hfe on his 
people; He hath power over all flefh^ that he fhoidd give 
eternal life to as many as thou hajl given him^ John xvii. 2, 
6. This kindnefs of God is through Chrift Jefus, in 
regard he is comprehenfive of all God's kindnefs. What 
was our Lord Jefus, but love and kindnefs ? His name, 
as one fays, is love, his nature is love, all his expref- 
iions are love, and all his actions are love ; he brought 
love, he bought it, he preached it, he lived in it ; he 
was fick of love, and he died for love : It was love that 
made him take on him our nature ; it was love that 
made him walk in our fleih, and go up and down doing- 
good; it was love that mounted him on a Ihameful 
(crofs, and it was love that laid him in a lilent grave^ 
And as he was love and kindnefs, fo he is all God's 
love and kindnefs. Col. iii. 1 1. Chrift is all in all : he 
is the fum of all covenant bleffings ; they are all abridg- 
ed in him : He is all eminently, being the marrow and 
fatnefs of the whole bargain ; If thou knewefl the gift of 
God: He is all comprehenfively ; bccaufe in him, as in 
a flore-houfe, all covenant bleflings are treafured up; 
For in him dwells all the fulnefs of the Godhead : He is all 
ultimately ; becaufe he is that bleHing, for which all o- 
th^r bleffings are bcftowed, Matth. xiii. 44. The ^ing- 
do?n of heaven is like to a treafure hid in the feld^ the which 
when a man hath founds he hideth it^ and for joy thereof 
gceth and fell eth all that he hath and huyeth the field : He 
is all virtually ; becaufe w^hen a God of kindnefs gives 
Chrift, he has given the whole, Luke v. 75. To perform 
the mercy promifed to our fathers : And he is all confe- 
quentially ; becaufe all other kindnefles follow him, as 
•^vCeflbrics. He that fpared not his own Son^ but deliver- 

46 Goo's Great Kindnefs to Men, 

td him up to the death for us all^ how Jhall he not with 
him alfo freely give us all things f Whofoever findeth me^ 
jindeth life^ and Jhall obtain favour of the Lord. 

IV. The Fourth Head, was to offer fome reafons of 
the dodrine ; or fliew why God is a God of kindnefs to 
men. And, 

I . If the queftion be, From whence doth his kindnefs 
proceed? The anfwer is. 

It fprings from his love : it is not founded on any 
lovelinefs in us, but upon love in God. Though we 
cannot love a creature until it has a being ; yet God can 
love before the objecl hath any exiftence: / have loved 
thee with an everlajling love. And though we cannot 
love objefts that do exift, unlefs we fee fomething love- 
ly in them, which may draw out our affedions towards 
them ; yet our Lord really loves them who have every 
thing to render them hateful to the view of his holinefs 
and juftice : and his love is the fource of his goodnefs ; 
as is intimated in the words preceding our text ; God who 
is rich in mercy, &c. He had before fhown, how finful 
man was ; and now he fhews how merciful God is. In- 
flead of man's being finful, he is to defcribe God's be- 
ing merciful. Men by nature are fmful, but God by 
nature is merciful ; this then is the foundation of God's 
fliewing mercy, viz. his love; God who is rich in mercy, 
for his great love. His love firft made choice of the per- 
fons he meant to iliew mercy unto ; and love formed a 
channel wherein mercy fliould be communicated, and 
run like a mighty ftream unto fmners. Sirs, of all 
things in God value his love, and feek after it. It is 
more than all his gifts : his love is the firft gift, in the 
gift of which all other things are yours : the gift of his 
Son was a great gift ; but it was founded on his love : 
He so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, &c. 
The gift of his Spirit i^ a great gift \ but founded on 

2« C H R I S T J E S U S. 47 

his love, Tit. iii. 4, 5. But after that the k'mdnefs and love 
of God our Saviour appeared — by the renewing of the Holy 
GhoJ}, Yea, it is the foundation of all. 

2. If the queftion be for what etid is he a God of 
kindnefs to men? The preceeding words will inform 
you, that it is to fhew the exceeding riches of his grace. 
This was God's ultimate defign in all he has done : it 
was the firft thing in his intention, and as the end and 
conclufi6n of all. Sirs, God's utmoft end in man's 
falvation is the fhewing forth what is in himfelf, and 
the making it known, that it may be glorified : for he is 
glorified by being made known, Rom. ix. 23. What if 
Cody willing to 7nake known the riches of his glory ^ on the 
vejfels of mercy ^ And particularly, that he might fhew 
the riches, and the exceeding riches of grace. His 
higheft and chiefeft end was not fo much to get any 
thing from us, as to fhew forth the riches of his grace 
towards us : and if it be his end and defign to fhew forth 
the riches of his grace, we are like to be well entertain- 
ed ; grace will be fare to provide for its own glory, to 
fliew itfelf to the utmoft : and if this be his end and de- 
fign, we need not doubt of his doing great things for 
us. If God had told us how much he had done to us, 
merely out of love, we could never have believed it ; 
but when he tells us, that the alone thino: that moved 
him, was the manifeftation cf grace, the heart cannot 
but rejoice, and acquiefce in it. This takes off all ob- 
jections ; and die ftranger the objeclions are, the more 
lively may our hopes be: and why, becaufe all objecti- 
ons come to be confidered as foils to fet off to greater 
advantage, that grace which over-rules them : Not for 
your fakes do I this^ but for my holy name's fake. 

V. We come now to the application of the fubject : 
and we fhall improve it in an ufe of information^ exami" 
7iat:onj and e^hortatioHm 

48 Go d's Great Kindfiefs to Men^ 

ijl^ For information^ in the following particulars. 

1. Hence we may be informed of one reafon why 
God permitted us to fall in the firft Adam, namely^ 
that he might fheW his kindricfs to us in Chrift the fecond 
Adam. ^God did exceeding well for man, is he made 
him at firft ; for, he put him into a very good eftate ; 
ftamped his own image upon him ; made him, above 
all other creatures, to be his favourite : but he foolifli- 
ly finned, and fell from God ; and thereby loft all his 
happinefs. Well, why did God permit all this? juft' 
that he might fliew men greater kindnefs in Chrift Jefus : 
for this end he allowed them to fall into fin ^ to be dead 
in trefpaffes and in fins ^ that in the ages to come ^ he might 
fhew the exceeding riches of his grace. To love us in a 
plain direct way, and to give us heaven immediately, 
as he did the angels, was too low and mean ; his love 
muft have meanders, winding difiiculties to encounter, 
in order to commend it: Rom. v. 8. Herein God com- 
mendeth his love^ in that while we were yet finners^ Chrijt 
died for us. It feems to be an image taken from the 
pradice of tradefmen, who, in fhewing their goods, 
point out the excellencies, and fet in the cleareft light 
whatever may befpeak their worth, or recommend thent 
to the purchafers. 

2 . See the reafonablenefs of the^r/? command of God's 
law, namely, " To have no other Gods before him :" 
why ? he is a God of kindnefs to us in Chrift Jefus : ac- 
cordingly, this is the argument heufcshere, I am the Lord 
thy God, But, alas ! how few of us are influenced by his 
kindnefs to worfhip him only ? how many are there a^ 
mongft our profeflbrs who are married to Chrift in the 
view of the church, baptized in his name, and have ra- 
tified their baptifm, by going to a communion table; and 
yet it may be faid of them, as God faid of old concern- 
ing Ephraim, Their heart is divided ; and therefore they 

muft be found faulty: alasl how many axe there that 

X« C H R I S T J E S U S. 49 

have divided hearts, that halt between two opinions, 
■and are not able to conclude with themfelves, whether 
Baal be God, or the Lord ? Nay, they halt between two 
converilitioris ; Ibmething there is of heaven in them : 
but, alas I how much of the earth, how much of fin, 
folly, and vanity ? how much of contradiction to their 
profcilion ! Where is a Chriftian Caleb to be found among 
us, following the Lord fully f 

3. Here fee, how jtift that account of God is, which 
we have, i John iv. 8. God is love. There are three Ihort, 
but comprehenfive accounts which the Scriptures exhi- 
bit to us of God, viz, God is a Spirit ; God is Light ; and 
God is Love. If love w^as not his nature, would he ever 
be a God of kindnefs to fuch worthlefs wretches as men? 
His purpofe is love ; his promife is love ; his practice is 
love : and why ? becaufe his nature is love ; God is Love : 
he is not only lovely^ but he is loving ; he is not only 
lovinz^ but he is love. There is no doubt God is all the 
perfections of his nature, as well as his love ; for what- 
ever is in God, is God : he is his own juftice, his own 
wifdom, his own power; but you will not read in all 
the Bible that God is juflice^ or that God is power ; but 
God is love : Why ? becaufe (fo to fpeak) it is the pre- 
dominant difpolition in God. Love, as it commands 
all in men, fo it commands all in God: what fet wifdom 
on contriving our Salvation? it was love: what fet power 
upon efle6tuating it ? it was love : what made j uftice 
punifli the Surety ? it w^as love ; God fo loved the worlds 
that he gave his only begotten Son^ &;c. What makes 
mercy relieve the iinncr? it is love: love is the root of 
mercy ; But God who is rich in mercy for his great love 
wherewith he loved iis^ &c. All attributes go whatever 
way love goes : they all work together in a fubordinadon 
to love. 

4. From this doctrine v/emay fee, that believers need 
not be boaflcr^ : why, whatever they get, it is all in 


50 GoD*s Great Kindnefs to Men^ 

feindnefs and love. AVe ?.re naturally proud, and have 
hearts exceedingly prone to be lifted up above meafure: 
but we have no reafon ; for all we have, that is truly 
valuable, is mere kindnefs. And how unbecoming is 
pride in any tiiat live on mercy ! he that lives upon the 
alms of mercy and kindnefs, Hiould put on humility. 
So here ; what have they that they have not received ? 
— Arc they elefted ? this is kindnefs ; for they had no 
more hand in that than children unborn have in what 
is prefently done, Rom. ix. ii. For the children being 
not yet born^ 'neither having done any good or evil^ that the 
-purpofe of God^ according to eJe^ion might ftand^ 7iot of 
ivorks but of him that calleth, — Are they redeemed? that 
was mere kindnefs ; they had no hand in it : / have 
trode the zuine prefs alone, — Are they regenerated ? this 
is kindnefs ; they had no more agency in that, than the 
infant in its formation in the mother's womb : We are 
horn^ not of bloody nor cf the will of the fleffy^ nor of the 
will of man^ but of God — Are they juftified? it is in 
kindnefs : Beijig juftified freely by his grace. — Are th^ 
adopted ? this is kindnefs : they do not put themfelve^ 
among the children, but grace doth it ; To as many as 
received him^ to them gave he power to become the fons of 
God. — Are they fanclllied ? this is kindnefs : / will fprin- 
kle you with clean water ^ and ye ji all be clean. — Are they 
preferved? this is kindnefs ; for, We are kept by the power 
of God through faith unto f ah at ion. — In ihort, all is kind- 
nefs : they eat kindnefs, they drink kindnefs, they wear 
kindnefs: In him we live ^ and ?nove^ and have our being: 
and they iliall fclace thernfelves in his kindnefs through 
eternity in heaven, Vviiere the Lamb that is in the midfl 
of the throne fJo all feed them^ and fh all lead them into living 
fountains of water ^ and God fh all wipe away all tears from 
their eves, 

5. Kere fee ground to feek and expecb lindly enter^ 
tainment this day at a communion table. V/hy? God 

/« C H R I S T J E S U S. ^I 

I3 a God of kindncfs ; and kindnefs is always liberal : 
God is a God of kindnefs to men in Chrift Jefus, and 
therefore he will be found generous. It is reported, 
that Alexander the Great had a famous, but poor Phi- 
lofopher at his court, who, being once greatly llraitened 
in his circumflances, applied to the King for fupply, 
who immediately granted his requeft, and ordered his 
treafurer to grant him whatever he wanted forthwith : 
he demands an hundred talents in the Kin9:'s name ; 
the treafurer, furprized at the largenefs of his demand, 
refufcd to comply ; but waited on the King, and re- 
prefented the matter to him, ailedging that the petition 
w^as unreafonable, and the fum extravagant. '* O, fays 
^' the King, let the money be inftantly paid: I am de- 
lighted with the Philofopher's way of thinking ; he 
has done me a lingular honour, and iliewed by the 
largenefs of his requeft, what a high opinion he has 
both of my fuperior wealth and royal bounfey.*' So, 
let us honour the God of kindnefs, by feeking and ex- 
pecting great things at his hand : The libera! foul devifcth 
liberal things^ and by liberal things Jh all he fia/id. The 
^maker of this feaft is a kind God himfelf, who is able to 
do exceeding abundantly abo'-je all that ive can afk cr think ; 
who, when he gives, gives like himfelf, like a Kino-, 
like a God. The provifion is Chrift himfelf, with all 
the blelTmgs of the new covenant ; and therefore we 
fliould come with raifed expeclations. Let our expec- 
tations be built on a rio-ht foundation : the mercy of God, 
and the merits of the Son of God, and we cannot expect 
too much. We may build as large as the new covenant 
in all its extent, and as higrh as heaven in all its o'lorv. 
6. Here we may be informied concerninp^ the crimi- 
nal nature of unbelief; which is, upon fhe matter, fay- 
ing God is not a God of kindncii? to men in Chriil Jefus. 
lie has revealed himfelf a God of kindnefs in Chrift, 
but unbehef calls him a bar, and fays there is no crood 

G 2 

52 ' • God's Great Kindnefs to Men, 

to be got at his hand ; that he is a hard mafter, reap- 
ing where he does not fow. 'That he is not the Lord, the Lord 
God merciful and gracious, UnbeHef reprefents God by 
halves, only as a confuming fire, though he be alfo a 
warming lire ; only as clothed with juftice and venge- 
ance, whereas the capital letter of his name is goodnefs, 
kindnefs, and mercy. Have you fin and mifery ? he 
is the Lord, merciful: — have you nothing about you 
that deferves regard? he is the Lord, gracious ; and 
grace doth all freely : — have you been long a prefumptu- 
ous finner? his name is long fuffe ring : — are you exceed- 
ingly perverfe, and wicked ? he is abundant in goodnefs 
i£ind truth : — have you abufed mercy ? he keeps mercy ; his 
treafures of mercy, love, and kindnefs, are not foon 
cxhaufted: mercy will feed the abufers of mercy. 
Therefore, take heed of an evil heart of unbelief, which 
a6ls the part of the falfe fpies that went up to view the 
land of Canaan, and brings back an ill report of a God 
of kindnefs j and fo turns away the foul from this kind 

7. Hence we may fee what a valuable y>/<?;2^ finners 
of mankind have of God in Chrift: — he is a God of 
kindnefs to them. Let us briefly furvey the peculiar 
and delightful recommendations of his friendfhip. 
I . He is a very antient friend ; and the older friends 
are, the more v/e efteem them : hence Solomon fays, 
Thine own friend and thy father^ s friend forget not : i. e. 
leave not one who hath been an old friend to thee, and 
thy family before thee. Now, God hath been thy 
friend from everlafting;. 2. He is fuch a friend as is 
ever mindful of us ; he never took his thoughts off the 
objeds of his friendfhip: other friends fometimes fpeak 
and think of us, but not always ; but God withdraw- 
eth not his eyes from the righteous : Caya a woman for- 
get her fucking child? yea, fJje may forget ; but I will not 
forget thee. Behold I hav€ graven thee upon the palms of 

2« C H R I S T J E S U 8. Si 

my hands ^ thy walls are continually before me. 3. He 
will be a friend to everlafthig : hence he fays, With e- 
•verlajling loving kindnefs will I have mercy on thee. 4. 
He is a moft affeBionate friend ; all his ways are love 
and friendfhip : for all his ways are mercy and truth ; 
even when the rod is in his hand, there is love in his 
heart. He is ever employed in fulfilling one promife 
or other. 5. He is a friend that does all freely. A 
man muft keep pace in adls of kindnefs with other 
friends ; but a God of grace does all freely, without 
profpecl of a requital : / will heal their hackflidings^ I 
will love them freely, 6. Other friends will be aOoamed 
of us when we fall into difgrace, or poverty : for all the 
brethren of the poor hate him : but God is fo far from be- 
ing afhamed of us, becaufe of our poverty, that he takes 
his denomination from us ; he is not afhamed to be called 
our God. 7 . Other friends may caft us off when we are 
old, and unable to ferve them ; but he will not: / will 
never leave thee : yea, when we are dead and laid in our 
graves, he will remember us and ours; Rom. xi. 28. 
But as touching the eledion, they are beloved for the Father^ s 
fake. And whatever he had we fliall have a part of it :, 
he himfelf has but all things^ and fo fliall we ; He that 
ovcrcometh JJjall inherit all things f O what a friend is he ! 
8. Hence fee that gratitude calls upon us to fhew 
ouyMvgs friendly to God in Chrift. For what reafon? 
becaufe he is a kind God to us. Gratitude therefore 
requires that we ffiould fear to offend him. Whenever 
you fin, believer, think with yourfelf, that God^s Spirit 
fays to you as Abfalom faid to Hufhai, Is this thy kind- 
nefs f(^ thy friend f or as God himfelf; Do ye thus requite 
the Lord^ foolifh people and iinzuife f Is he not thy Father 
that hath bought thee? From his enemies he hath relief 
at hand ; he can eafe himfelf of them : Ah ! / will eafe 
me of mine adverfaries. But as to his friends he hath 
no other remedy, but on feeing their ways to h^al them; 

54 God's Great Kindnefs to Men^ 

for being a God of kindnefs to them, he cannot eafc 
himfelf by revenge : and ihould not this move you to 
fear the Lord? Gratitude requires that we fliould ufe 
all poflible care to pleafe him : Te are my -friends^ if ye 
do whatjoever I command you * A man can requite a friend 
but two ways ; either by profiting him, or by pleafing 
him : now, profit God we cannot ; What is it to him if 
thou art right com f Chrift himfelf could not profit him: 
hence he fays. My gcodnefs extendeth not unto thee : but 
he pleafed him in all things ; and fo fliould we in the 
Hrength of his grace. 

9. Here fee a reproof to all who fin, notwithfiand- 
ing God's kindnefs to them : — fin under the receipt of 
his kindnefs ; — and mofi: of all to fuch as abufe his kind- 
nefs as an infi:rument of fin. It is a great aggravation 
of fin, when it is committed, though God by his judg- 
ments interpofe to ftop the finner's carreer : hence a note 
of infamy is put upon Ahaz ; /// the time of his diftrefs did 
he trefpafs yet more againfl the Lord, This is that king Ahaz. 
— But it is a higher aggravation of fin, when it is commit- 
ted againft God from whom we have received peculiar 
mercies. This therefore is given as the character of a 
wicked man in general ; that though favour be fljeived 
bim^ yet will he not learn right eoufnefs, — Sin is fl:ill more 
criminal when it is committed under the receipt of God's 
kindnefs; Pfal. cvi. 7. Our fathers underjlood not thy 
ivonders in E^ypt ; they remembered not the multitude of thy 
mercies^ but provoked him at the fea^ even the red fea. This 
was a very great aggravation ; they finned at the very 
place where and the time when they were deUvered. — 
But 2:uilt is heinous in the his-helt deQ:ree, when men 
turn the exprefiions of God's kindnefs into inftruments 
of rebellion againfl himx. There is nothing more pro- 
voking unto God than this ; his mercies are like David's 
meflages to Hanun, meifages of love; and he expects. 
with the greateft rcafon that we fhould improve thenij 

in Christ Jesus. S5 

to his glory : but if wc defpife and abufe them they are 
fore -runners of mifery. 

10. From what has been faid fee good reafon why 
all our duties fliould afcend to God, thro' Chrift Jefus. 
Why? becatife God's kindnefs comes to us in this way: 
fo all fiiould be returned to God in a way of duty by 
us, in the fame channel ; and indeed, we can return no- 
thing to God in a way of duty without him : for exam- 
ple, there is no believing in God but by Chrift Jefus, 
I Pet. i. 2 1. W/jo by him do believe in God, that raifed 
him from the dead. A man out of Chrift may believe 

i there is a God ; and fo do the devils ; T^hey believe and 
I tremble : but no man out of Chrift can beheve in God, 
or reft his foul upon him, with hope and confidence for 
, falvation, becaufe God out of Chrift is a confwmng fire, — 
I There can be no love to God but in Chrift Jefus ; for it is 
I impoflible to love God, until he be known to us as love : 
I and God as love is only difcerncd in Chrift ; We love 
I hi7n, becaufe he firfl loved, us, — There is no worfliipping 
of God but by Chrift Jefus: our prayer, our praife, 
i our reading, hearing, communicating, and all our re- 
ligious duties, muft be put into Chrift's hands, that he 
tnay perfume them with the incenfe of his intercefiion. 
He is the angel who came and flood at the altar^ having 
a golden cenfer ; and there was given unto him much in- 
tenfe^ that he Jhoidd offer it with the prayers of all faints^ 
upon the golden altar which was before the throne. And 
there is no yielding obedience to God but by Chrift Je- 
fus : therefore. Whatever we do in word or in deedy we 
>nttft do all in the name of ChriJ^, 

1 1 . See how vreat the love and kindnefs of God to 
our Lord Jefus muft be : he is a God of kindnefs to men 
through him. There are ieveral forts of love and kind- 
Tiefs 'y but tliis love and kindnefs of God to Cliriil tran- 
fcends them all. There is the love of one creature to 
^another, which is fometime* very ftrong. There is the 

s6 God's Great Kindnefs to Alen, 

love wherewith a behever loves our Lord Jefas, which 
is flill greater : for, though the love be but that of a 
creature, the object beloved is more than a creature ; 
even, God over all. There is the love of God to his 
chofen, which is yet greater ; but this love of God to 
Chrift is greateft of all : in the firft, one creature loves 
another; in the fecond, a creature loves God; in the 
third, God loves a creature : fo that in all of thefe, ei- 
ther the lover, or the beloved, is a creature : but here 
God the Father is the lover, and God the Son is the 
beloved ; and where God the Father is the lover, and 
God the Son is the beloved, who can tell what that 
love is? it palTes our underftandings : and this faith 
muft believe and adore, crying out, the depth ! 

12. See the way and method God takes to draw Jin- 
■ners to himfelf ; it is jufl with his kindnefs in Chrift, 
The thing that captivates a foul to our Lord Jefus, is 
not the wrath of God revealed in the law againft all 
unrighteoufnefs ; but the love of God revealed in the 
gofpel, as venting through the blood and death of Chrift, 
A iinner, as Rutherford fays, is as heavy as a moun- 
tain of iron, and cannot be drawn or born ; but they 
be heavy lumps of hell that Chrift cannot bear to 
heaven. Chrift's love hath mighty arms, and great 
bones. Our Lord never wooed a foul with his love, 
but he wan the love and heart. Death, the grave, 
and hell, are conquering things for ftrength, and 
have fubdued multitudes ; but the love of Chrift is 
ftronger than them : Love is flrong as death. Never 
a (inner went to hell a victor, faying love could not 
" fave me ; and never a iinner went to heaven, but 
" Chrift's love had the better of him." 

I 3 . Hence fee that the kindnefs of redemption vaftly 
exceeds the kindnefs of creation. Great was God's kind- 
nefs to men in creation ; for he made him after his own 
image ; he advanced him to be heav^u'^ confederate iij 



2« C H R I S T J E S U S. ST 

the firft covenant : he made him lord of the world : and 
all thefe were acls of kindnefs. But they were nothing 
in comparifon of the kindnefs of God to men in Chrift 
Jefus. His kindnefs in redemption exceeds his kind- 
nefs in creation, as far as the light of the fun does the 
light of the moon : accordingly, when the Spirit of God 
fpeaks of grace, how is grace exalted! faving grace, 
riches of grace, exceeding abundant grace, exceeding 
riches of grace : — when he mentions God's mercy, how 
is mercy magnified ? God who Is rich in mercy ^ 8zc, — When 
he fpeaks of God's love, how is love commended ? God 
Jo loved the worlds that he gave his only begotten Son, &c» 
"That Chrijl may dzuell in your hearts by faith, that ye be^ 
ing rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend 
with all faints what is the breadth, ayid height, and depths 
and length, and to know the love of Chrijl which paffetb 
knowledge. He would have us know that the love o£ 
Chrift is beyond all dimeniions, as it is beyond all 
knowledge and comprehenfion. Oar Lord's love hath 
length in it, becaufe he loves his people from eternity to 
eternity :^t hath breadth in it, becaufe it extends to 
fm and guilt: — it hath depth in it, becaufe it brought 
him as low as earth, the grave, and hell : — and it hath 
hei'/ht in it, becaufe it hath carried himfcif, and will 
carry them far above all heavens, 

14. Again, we may fee that God in the gofpelh vaftly 
different from God in the law, God in the law is a 
God armed with wrath and vengeance; for the wrath 
of God is therein revealed from heaven, againfl all unrig'h^ 
teoufnefs and ungodlincfs of men : but God in the gofpel, 
is a God of kindnefs in Chrift ; for therein he proclaims 
his love in giving Chrift, and all things freely with him, 
John iii. 16. God fo loved the world, that he gave his 
only begotten Son. Every word of the law fmells rank 
of Sinai's fulphur, and proclaims the wrath of God to 
loft iinners j For curfed is every 07ie that ccntlnueth not in 



j!8 God's Great Kindttefs to Men, 

all things written in the book of the law to do them* But 
every word of the gofpel fends forth a favour of mercy, 
and proclaims the love of God to loft linners. Here 
we may fee his wing of love fpread out to cover and 
hide u'S from avenging wrath and juftice ; the arms of 
love ftretched out to embrace us ; the hand of love to 
help us ; the eyes of love, with infinite compaflion, be- 
holding us y the bowels of love fending a found after us, 
crying, Turn ye^ turn ye^ why will ye die^ houfe of If- 
rael. Let all therefore that are under the law make a- 
way to God in the gofpel : own the law's charge, but 
betake yourfelves to the gofpel difcharge, faying, Ifthou^ 
Lord^ fhouldft mark iniquity^ who can jl and? It lies open 
to you, and every one of you ; and you are as free to 
take the benefit of it as any in the world: for the fro- 
mlfe js to you, and to your children, and to as many as the 
Lord our God Jlmll calL And whereas ye can no more 
believe the promifc in the gofpel, than ye can perform 
the duty of the law. The ftrength of Omnipotence is 
in the promife, to enable you to believe it. There is 
as much power in God's promifing word as in his crea- 
ting \vord ; as much power in that Vv^ord, In him fhall 
the Gentiles trujl, as in that word. Let there be light ; 
and therefore. Be not faithlefs , hut believing, 

Laftly, Is he a God of kindnefs to men on earth? 
then, what wdll he be //; heaven, when we ^?i^ fee him 
as he is. If the goodnefs he has laid out be fo great, 
what will the goodnefs he has laid up be ? O how great 
is the goodnefs he hath laid up in ftore for the righteous ! 
Ouf time in heaven, I mean eternity, fhall pafs away 
in kindnefs. — In thefe ages ever to come he will fhew the 
exceeding riches of his grace, in his kindnefs to us through 
Chrifl Jefus. All the convcrfe we fliall have with God 
in heaven, and all that God fhall beftow on us there, 
will be with vaft familiarity, kindnefs, and fweetnefs, 
which will be the height of our happinefs* According- 

|« C H R I S T J E S U S. J-J 

ly it is obfervable, that always when heaven is fpokeu 
of, it is fpoken of in words of kindnefs : thus when the 
new Jenifalem comes down from heaven, the bride is 
faid to be inade ready^ and to be cloathed in white. When 
Chrift would comfort his people, he fays. In my Father'' s 
houfe are many inanfions. When Maiy would have 
come, and familiarly embraced him, he fays. Touch me 
not^ for I am not yet afcended to my Father : As if he had 
faid, " There is time enough to come ; we fliall be thus 
familiar in heaven : but now mind your bufinefs j Go 
tell tny difciples^ and Peter, &c." After the firft commu- 
nion here, he faith, / will not drink any more of this fruit 
of the vine, till I drink it new zvith you in my Father"* s 
kingdom. This is ftill the language of kindnefs, and this 
makes the entertainment of heaven fo very fwect, 
becaufe it is all in kindnefs. God is angry fometimes 
here, and feems to take things unkindly at our hands ; 
but in heaven, nothing but kindnefs, and kindnefs in 
Chrift Jefus: loving us with the love wherewith he 
loved Chrift Jefus ; beftowing the fame glory, as to 
kind, on us, which he hath beftowed on Chrift Jefus, 
and with the fame kindnefs. 

2dly, We fnall now improve the fabjecl in an ufe of 
examination and trial. 

It is worth our while to enquire whether ever wc 
fhared in this kindnefs of God in Chrift. Is he fuch a 
kind God to men ? then it certainly concerns us to en- 
^jiiirc if we have tafted of it. We have all of us iieard, 
but have we ftiarcd of it: we have fliared of his coni- 
nioii, but have we liiared alfo of his fpecial and diitiii- 
Q-uiftiins: kindnefs in and throuch Chrift? And it more 
efpccially concerns us to do this, as fome of us have 
the profpecl of a near approach to God in the facramcnt 
of the fupper. This ordinance, you know, is a lii?^^ of 
love and kindnefs, having in it the higheft rcprefenta- 
.■.tion of God's kindnefs, and being appointed for ex- 

H 2 

|K(5 God's Great Kindnefs to Men^ 

preffing the mutual love and affeclion of Chrift and his 
people to one another; and therefore it is only defign- 
cd for friends, and fo for them who have fhared of his 
kindnefs. Let us try then, if ever we have fliared of 
it. And, 

1. If ever God v/as a kind God to you, ye have feen 
yourfelves the deferved objects of God's wrath ^ rather 
than of his kindnefs; Eph. ii. 3. We were by nature 
children of wrath^ as well as others. It is true, conli- 
dered as God's creatures, ye were not the objects of 
liis hatred or wrath ; for he hates not, but has a refped: 
to the work of his own hands : but coniidered as fallen 
creatures, degenerated into the plants of a ftrange vine, 
3^6 become the objects of God's wrath, hatred, and en- 
mity ; for he is angry with the wicked every day, 'Well, 
did you ever fee this, fo as to be forced to cry out. 

What Jh all I do to be favedf O the heavy burden of 
fin ! O the pain and torment of guilt ! O the terrors 
*^ of divine WTath ! O for the cooling waters of mercy ! 
^' O for the Balm of Gilead, and the Phyfician there!'* 
Had you ever fuch a wounding fenfe of iin, fuch an a- 
" larming fenfe of wrath, as made you fee your abfolute 
need of this kindnefs ? if not, you have reafon to fuf- 
pect you never fhared of it ; for the whole need not the 
Fhyfician^ but them that are feek, 

2. If ever you have fhared of God's kindnefs, ye 
will ftill fee great enmity in your hearts at a God of kind-* 
nefs ; and it will be your burden. One would not 
think it ftiansre that fm in the foul fnould maintain en- 
mity againfl God as a God of wrath ; but it raifes a great- 
er enmity asfainfi: him as a God of kindnefs : it raifes a 
greater enmity againfl God in the gofpel, v^^herein he 
tenders his kindnefs, than againfl: God in the law, 
wherein he reveals his wrath ; and that merely becaufe 
more of the holy properties of his nature ihine in the one 
than m the other. Well, did you ever fee tiiis ? and is 


7W C H R I S T J E s U S.^ 6l 

It your burden ? does it break your heart to think that 
you fliould be fuch an enemy in your heart, againft a 
God of kindnefs ? This is a good lign you have Ihared 
of his kindnefs : it argues fome love in your fouls to 
God ; for there is in us by nature no fuch difpofition. 
3. If ever you fliared of God's kindnefs, you will 
be content with nothing fliort o£ fpecial kindnefs. No 
doubt you will defire other things : thus David prays 
for his life, /pare 7ne^ that I may recover Jlrength^ be- 
fore I go hence and he 7io more, — Abraham for a child; — 
Job for health ; — and Agur for food convenient for him : 
but ye will feek fpecial kindnefs firft and principally. 
Pfal. xxvii. 4. One thing have I defire d of the Lord^ that 
^ill I feek after ^ that I may dwell in the houfe of the "Lord 
all the days of my life^ to behold the beauty of the Lordy 
and to enquire in his temple. Wicked men will be pleaf- 
cd if they get common kindnefs, an increafe of corn, 
wine, and oil : but the foul that has tailed that Lord 
is gracious, will be content with none of thefe ; but cry 
out, All this availeth me nothing. It is reported of Lu- 
ther, that when he firft preached the gofpel in Germa- 
ny, he was much courted by fome great perfons, and 
prefented with many gifts, which made him jealous 
that God intended to put him off with thefe : " But, 
*' fays he, I made a proteftation to my God, that I 
" would not be fo fatisfied." The fons of Keturali 
may be put off with portions ; but Ifaac muft have the 
inheritance. The gracious foul is juft like Artibazus, 
who, when Cyrus gave him a cup of gold, and Chry- 
fontes a kifs ; faid to the king, " The cup thou haft 
" given me is not half fo good !" So fays the foul. Let 
others take the cup, give me the kifs : Let him kifs me 
with the kiffcs of his mouth ; for thy love is better than 
'-xnne. I know no better evidence of a gracious heart 
than to be fatisfied with nothing fhort of God's fpecial 
and diftinguiiliing kindnefs. 

62 God's Great Klndnefs to Men, 

4. You will think much of the leajl Jhare of his fpe- 
cial kindnefs, and you will defire the grcateft : you will 
think much of the leaft Ihare, or token of it; thus 
David afks no more than that he would look on the face 
of his anointed; and a good look is but a fmall thing. 
Thus he valued being a door-keeper : one would think 
the office of a door-keeper was but a fmall preferment ; 
yet David valued it above a manjfion in the tents of 
wickednefs. The woman in the gofpel reckoned it 
much to fit at Chrift's feet, and wafti them. The wo- 
man of Canaan is called a dog^ and is contented with itj 
fo be flie may but lick up the crumbs that fall from the 
mafler^s table. Another woman cries out, If I may but 
touch the hem of his garment. But though you will va- 
lue the leaft, you will defire the greateft meafure : thus 
David, in Pfalm li. prays for pardoning grace ; After 
thy loving kindnefs^ Lordy blot out my tranfgrejjtons : 
but is this enough ? no ; he mufl alfo have fanclifying 
grace : Create in me a clean heart. Will thefe pleafe him ? 
no; he muft have comforting grace; Reflore me the joy 
of thy falvation. Nor will thefe pleafe him : he muft 
have upholding grace: Uphold me with thy free Spirit. — 
That foul never fhared of fpecial kindnefs, that fays it 
is enough^ or that is pleafed with its growth, till it grow 
up to heaven. 

5-. Ye will be often thinking and frequently meditat- 
ing of God's kindnefs: We have thought of thy loving^ 
kindnefs^ God, An the midfi of thy temple. He is not 
worthy of the name of a Chriftian who does not think 
upon Chrift's kindnefs, and who refoives not to remem- 
ber it more than wine. Whereabout then are your 
thoughts employed, and moft pleafantly employed? 
for you may think of God's kindnefs and not think of 
it fpiritually. The thoughts of God and his kindnefs 
with gracelefs men, are hke guefts that come into an 
ian. The thoughts faints have of it are like children 

2M C H R I S T J E S U S. 63 

that dwell in the houfe : children of the houfe are ex- 
pefted at thejr feafon ; and if amiffing they are enquir- 
ed after : travellers enter the houfe occaiionally ; and 
then there is a great ftir about them, to provide proper 
entertainment for them : within a while they depart, 
and they are no more looked after: but children are 
owned in the houfe, miffed if they be any time out of 
the way, and have their daily provifion made for them. 
Wicked mens thoughts are like the paffengers ; they 
enter occaiionally, and are entertained for a fmali time; 
on a fudden they depart and are no more heard off. 

6. Ye will admire and wonder at God's kindnefs : 
What is man that thou art mindful of him ! There was 
never a foul that faw it by faith, or that tailed of it, but 
counted it marvellous. The loving kindnefs of it, the 
kindnefs of fuch a God as he is, to fuch vile creatures as 
we are ; and the kindnefs ilowing to us from fuch a chan- 
nel as God's own Son, and ilreaming forth the bleilings 
of grace and glory, is a love and kindnefs that all who 
know it wonder at it ; and all who fliare moft of it won- 
der moil at it. Enjoyment of this love, and admiration 
at it, are infeparable both in earth and in heaven ; both 
in believing and beholding. Ye have never come under 
the warm beams of this love, who do not fland ailoniih- 
ted at it, faying, Lord^ how is it that thou wilt manifeft 
thyfelf to us, and not unto the world f 

idly. We conclude the fubjecl with an ufe of exhor- 
tation, liiil to thofe who have fliared of this kindnefs, 
and then to all in general. Our exhortation to fuch as 
jhave Ihared of his kindnefs is, 

I !• Believe his kindnefs to you in Chrift Jefus. If ye 
ibe fliarers of his kindnefs, ye have believed it already ; for 
it is becaufe of the excellency of his loving kindyiefs, that the 
fons of men fut their truft under the fhadow of his wings. 
Well, beheve it ilill ; go on in believing till ye come at 
feeing : and particularly believe his kindnefs when he fecmj> 

64 God's Great Kindnefs to Men^ 

to be cruel and unkind to you ; as when ye are vifited 
with afflictions : it is not the manner of men to give the 
fliarpeft treatment to the greateft favourites ; but it is 
the manner of God, and it is all in kindnefs : Whom I 
lovcy I rebuke and chaften. Their temporal crofs fprings 
from the fame kindnefs that their eternal crown fprings 
from ; though it is not eafy feen. — In temptation, be- 
lieve his kindnefs ; for the people of God are not only 
viiited with afflidions, but temptations, and with temp- 
tations often in a time of affliction \ but it is in kind- 
nefs: and can there' -be kindnefs in the Lord's letting 
loofe the devil upon his own children ? yes : Lejl I fiould 
be exalted above meafure^ a inejfenger of Satan was fent to 
buffet me, — In defertion believe his kindnefs ; when the 
Lord is hiding his face and dealing with you as an e- 
nemy, for that is kindnefs : For a fmall monient have I 
forfaken thee ; but with everlajling loving-kindnefs will I 
have mercy upon thee. 

2. Admire his kindnefs. Let your thoughts be over- 
whelmed with it till your thoughts and underftan dings 
be, as it wxre, loft ; your fouls taken out of themfelves 
and laid in the duft, faying. What is ??ian that thou art 
mindful of him ! You cannot indeed comprehend, but 
you may lofe your thoughts in pleaiing wonder at it; 
for it is really admirable, whatever way you view it. 

(i.) It is matter of lingular admiration, if ye confi- 
der the fubjeEl^ or the author of it. The bleffed God, 
who would have been infinitely happy though ye had 
never been. The independent God, who was under 
no neceffity of fhewing you kindnefs : it was in his 
choice whether any creature fliould have a being, much 
more whether they fliould fliare of his kindnefs. The 
fovereign God, who, without any prejudice to his glory] 
might have anihilated you, and juftified the acl by hii 

(2.) k is matter of Angular and eternal admirationi 

?Vi C H R I s T J E s u s. 6s 

coniidering the objed of it, us. David being over- 
powered with free grace and kindnefs in his foul, cries 
out, W/jo a?n /, aiid what is my Fat her* s houfe! Join ye 
alfo thefe two together. Who am /, Lord? Set that 
duft in the balance, /, a creature; and /, a finner; 
with the great God, the high and lofty One that inhabits 
eternity^ and you will fee reafon to wonder: God is 
light, ye are darknefs; God is wifdom, ye are folly; 
God is holinefs, ye are unclean ; and ye will wonder. 

(3.) "Wi^ fpring of it is matter of wonder; and that 
is grace ; and all grace is admirarble : we can give the 
reafon for other things, but no reafon for grace. 

(4.) The matter of it is ground of admiration. It had 
been great grace to have taken an innocent man into 
glory ; it had been great grace to have freed a finner 
from mifery, though he fhould never have been brought: 
to the enjoyment of any pofitive good : but to free a fin- 
ner from the mofl inconceivable mifery, in eternal ruin ; 
and to bring him into the highefl happinefs in eternal 
glory ; and all in a M^ay of kindnefs, is admirable, and 
will be the fong of the redeemed for ever : Unto him 
that loved us^ — and hath made us kings and friefts unto 

(5.) The channel of it is matter of admiration ; it is 
in and through Chrifi: Jefus. The love and kindnefs of 
fuch vile creatures as you, and this kindnefs flowing to 
you in fuch an awful and amiable channel as Chrift, 
and ftreaming forth in all the blcilings of grace and 
glory, is kindnefs, that all who know it wonder at ; 
and fuch as know it beft, wonder at it moil. 

(6.) The ultimate end and deftgn of it is matter of e- 
ternal admiration ; That in the ages to come he might Jheiv 
the exceeding riches of his ^race, 

j 3« Be concerned to return him kindnefs ; — O love, the 
Lord^ all ye his faints : and fhow your kindnefs in heart, 
by breathing after him ; I fat d'.wn under his j?jadczi', 


66 God's Great Kindnefs to Men^ 

fays the Spoufe, with great delight : — in lif, by fpeak- 
ing well of him, and his kindnefs to others ; in defend- 
ing his truth, caufe, and intereft in the world : — and 
in /{/>, by acling in your ftation for his honour, glory, 
and intereft in the world : ye fliould earnejlly contend for 
the faith* 

1 ihall conclude, with a word of exhortation to all of 
you in this audience. And my exhortation to you is, 
.believe the kindnefs of God to you, through Chrift Je- 
fus. In his name we offer you not only the bleflipgs 
of his hand, and the kind words of his mouth ; but 
the very love of his heart. We call you to believe it, 
and believing it to come and put your truft under the ^ 
wings of the God of kindnefs. Whatever ye have been, \ 
or ftiil are, whether drunkards, profane curfers and 
fwearers, or adulterers, if ye are of the race of Adam^ 
God in Chrift offers you his love, and all the great and 
fubftantial exprefiions of it. The kindnefs of God, as 
manifefted in the gofpel-offer, has mankind for its ob- 
jecl ; Titus iii. 4. But after that the kindnefs and love of 
God our Saviour towards man appeared. Accordingly 
God's kindnefs has vented itfelf upon the worft of men. 
And you are warranted to believe his love, feeing it is 
a love of the kind. He wants you fhould believe his 
love, and hence he makes folemn proclamations and 
declarations of it ; Ezek. xxiv. 6,7. And the Lord faffed 
by before h'un^ and proclaimed^ The Lord^ the Lord God 
inerciful and gracious^ long-fufferingy and abundant in 
goodnefs and truth ; keeping mercy for thoufands^ forgiving 
iniquity, tranfgreffwn and fin, Pfal. cxxx. 7. het Ifrael 
hope in the Lord ; for with the Lord there is mercy. To 
convince you of it, he not only proclaims^ but f%oears 
it, left ye fhould difbelieve his word. — He fuperadds 
his oath, that you may have the fulleft aiTurance of his 
earneft concern for your falvation and happinefs : Ezek.i 
xxxiii. 2, As I live^ faith the Lord God^ I have 710 pleor] 

z« C H R I S T J E S U S. 67 

Jure in the death of the wicked ; but that the wicked turn 
from his way and live : turn ye ^ turn ye from your evil zu ays ; 
for why will ye die, houfe of Ifraelf Now, an oath a^ 
mong men is for confirmation of a controverted truth, 
and is an endof all Jl rife. Well, Sirs, fhall the oath of 
a man be fo much regarded, and will ye not regard the 
oath of God ? To entertain a jealoufy of his kindnefs 
when he declares it, is to make him a liar ; but to do 
fo when hcfwears it, is to charge him with perjury. — 
But this is not all ; as if his word and oath were not 
enough to convince you of his kindnefs, he has given 
a practical demonftration of it in the gift of his Son to 
you : Godfo loved the world that he gave his only begotten 
Son, that whofoever believeth on him fJjould not perifh, but 
have ever la fling life, O then, believe his love with ap- 
plication to your own fouls. The Father has given his 
Son to be a Saviour to you : he hath given him full in- 
ilruclions and ample powers to fave you ; and whofoever 
believe th on him for falvation fhall not be afhamed, 
but be made an eternal monument of God's kindnefs, 
through Chrift Jefus. 

I 5 

[ 6S 2 

The Riches of Grace Difplayed, by 
God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ. 

Ep HEs. ii. 7. 

That in the ages to come^ he might Jloeiv the exceed- 
ing riches of his grace ^ in his kindnefs touoards us^ 
through Chrifl Jefus, 

TJ R E T H R E N, in the language of infpiration, which 
■*"^^ abounds with the moil ftriking and expreilive me- 
taphors, power is the arm of God; — Who hath believed 
our report f and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? 
— knowledge is the eye of God ; hence it is faid, l^he 
•ways of a man are before the eyes of the Lord^ and he pon- 
der eth all his goings : — holinefs is the beauty of God; 
therefore we are exhorted to worlhip in the beauty of 
holinefs : — ?nercy is the bowels of God ; hence is that 
w^ord, through the tender mercy of our God^ or, as it may 
be rendered from the Greek, becaufe of the yearning 
bowels of the mercy of our God. But grace is the 
riches of God, as in our text ; That in the ages to come^ 
he fnight Jhew the exceeding riches of his grace, — From 
which words, I laid down two obfervations, viz. 

First, That God is a kind God to men^ in Chrifl Jefus, 

Secondly, That the grand end and defign of Gcd^ 
in all his kindnefs^ is the manifeflation and exaltation of 
the exceeding riches of his grace. 

The firft of thefe obfervations was formerly difcuifed. 
I now come to treat of the fecond, viz. 

DocT. That the grand end and defign of Gcd^ in all 
his kindnefs^ is the manifeflation and exaltation of the eX' 
ceedijig riches of his grace. 

The Riches g/* Grace difplayed. 6g 

The method I propofe, for the profecution of this 
dodrine, is, 

I. To confirm the point. 

ir. To fpeak a little of the grace which God defigned 
to manifeft. 

III. To fpeak of the exceeding riches of God's grace. 

IV. The manifejlation thereof. 

V. They^^;? of this manifeftation. And, 

VI. Laftly, apply the whole. 

I return to the firft Head, which is to evince, That 
the utmoft end and deiign of God, in all his kindnefs, 
is the manifeftation and exaltation of the exceeding 
riches of his grace. And, that the exaltation of the 
riches of God's grace, is the grand and ultimate end of 
all the kindnefs he fliews to men in Chrift, is evident, 
i/?, From the natural condition of the perfons, to 
whom he is a God of kindnefs ; of which the apoille 
gives a lively defcription, in the beginning of this chap- 
ter, Tou bath he quickened^ &c. The defcription may be 
reduced to four things, to which we fhall confine our- 
fclvcs, and endeavour to illuftrate them a little. They 
are dead in trefpaiTes and fins ; — walking after the flefli ; 
— under the power of Satan ;' — and children of God's 

I . The perfons to whom God manifefi:s his kindnefs 
are dead in trefpajfes and fins : — Tou hath he quickened^ laho 
were dead in trefpajfes and fins^ ver. i . Sin hath two 
evils in it, its guilt, and its filth or power ; and in both 
thefe refpecis, thefe to whom God is a God of kind- 
nefs, are dead. — They are dead in refpecl of the guilt 
of fin, A man condemned to die is dead in law, and 
fo it is with them ; they are under the guilt of Adam's 
firfi: fin ; the finful depravation of their nature, and all 
|,t}ieir aclual tranfgrefTions, — They are dead in rcfpecl of 


70 The Riches 5/* Grace ilfphyed^ 

the power and pollution of fin. As every fin is a dead 
work to a man's confcience, binding him over to pu- 
niftiment : fo it works death ^in him, in refpeft of its 
power, difabling him to good, and making him more 
adive and lively to evil, which is his death : and fo it 
is with all them to whom God is a God of kindnefs, in 
their natural ftate; not only have they loft original 
righteoufnefs, which was the ornament of their nature, 
but they are filled with all unrightcoufnefs. 

2 . They are walking after the lujls of the flejh^ ver. 3 . 
One would think it a contradiction to be dead in fin, 
and yet walking in fin ; but there is none : for the foul 
is alive, as it is originally in them, in the flefli ; and it 
is dead only in refpecl of God and fpiritual good : Among 
ivhom alfo we had our converfation in the lujls of the fiefh^ 
ver. 3. Their life, and every acl of it, is finful ; they 
live in the flefli, juft as a fifli lives in the water: the 
flefli is their principle, the flefli is their rule, and the 
flefli is their end, in the whole courfe of their conver- 
fation. The flefli is what they adl from, the flefli is 
what they acl by, and the flefli is what they acl to. 

3. They are under the -power of the devil :— According 
to the prince of the power of the air^ the Spirit that now 
worketh in the children of difobedience, ver. 2. It was, 
no doubt, melancholy to fee the poor man that was 
poflefled of the devil, torn by him, and fometimes 
thrown into the fire, fometimes into the water; but 
here is a more woful fight, if we could fee it ; a poor 
foul fpiritually poflefled of the devil, wofully rent and 
torn by him, fometimes caft into the fire, and fome- 
times into the water, yea, into evils far worfe than any 
of tliefe ; and fuch is the cafe with all thofe to whom 
God is a God of kindnefs : they, and every thing about 
them, are under the rule of Satan. He rules their minds ; 
hence he is faid to blind them : — ^he commands their wiU ; 
though not to force, yet efieciually to draw them : Te 

in God's Kindnefs to Shiners in Christ. 71 

are of your father the deviiy and the works of your father 
ye WILL do, — He rules over all their members ; there- 
fore they are called weapons of unrighteoufnefs^ all at the 
devils fervice, as all the arms of a king defend him a- 
gainit an invader. 

4. They are under the wrath of God^ being chUdre7i 
of wrath as well as others^ ver. 3. They are liable to 
all punifliments in this world, and that which is to 
come. To the puniihment of this world, both inward 
and outward : — inward, as blindnefs of mind, hardnefs 
of heart, &c. — outward, as the curfe of God upon all 
the creatures, for their fakes ; and all other evils that 
befal them in their bodies, names, eftates, relations, znd 
employment ; together with death itfelf. And the pu- 
niihment of fin in the other world, as everl ailing fcpara- 
tion from the prefence of God, and moil grievous tor- 
ment in foul and body, without intermiilion, in hell-iire 
for ever ; of which it may be faid, as is faid of the glon,- 
of the faints, Eye bath notfeen^ nor ear heard^ neither hath 
it entered into the heart of men to conceive the nature and 
degree of it : for, Who knows the power of his wrath f as 
is his fear, fo is his wrath. 

Now, feeing the natural ilate and condition of thefe 
to whom God is a God of kindnefs is fucli, what can be 
the end and defign of God in delivering them, hut juft 
to ihew the exceeding riches of his grace? It cannot be 
to get any good from them; for there is no good ia 
them, but all evil ; they are filed with all unrighteouf 
7iefs : it muil therefore be to ihcw the good that is in 
himfelf, viz. the exceeding riches cf his grace, 

idly. That the exaltation of the riches of God's grace 
is the utmoil end of his kindnefs, is evident, from the 
condition they are raifed to, as well as from the condi- 
tion they are delivered from : accordingly the apoillc, 
to illuilrate the riches of God's s^race, as the ultimate 
end of all his kindncfsj runs the parallel between wlut 

72 . The Riches o/' Grace difplaycd^ 

they were by nature, and what they are by grace ; Bui 

God who is rich in mercy ^ &c. Inftead of being dead in 
trefpafTes and fins, they are quickened with the life of 
juftification, and with the life of regeneration ; and not 
only quickened, but quickened together with Chrijl^ with 
the fame life that Chriil is quickened with, which is a 
more excellent life than when we were in innocent A- 
dam. Adam was quickened by God the Creator, and 
became a fubjc(5l of the divine law; but finners are 
quickened by God the Redeemer, and become the hap- 
py fubjecls both of law and gofpel. Chrift is our life: 
Adam's life was nothing in comparifon of this ; John 
X. I o . I am come that they might have Ufe^ and that they 
might have it more abundantly, Inftead of walking ac- 
cording to the courfe of this world, they are raifed up 
with Chrift, to iit with him : — Inftead of the devil and 
his angels working in them, which is the earneft of hell, 
they have the Holy Spirit, the earneft of heaven: — - 
Inftead of being children of wrath, they have an inhe- 
ritance in glory ; they are made to fit together with Chrifl 
in heavenly -places : — Inftead of all evil, they are poflefTed 
of all good, in a way of kindnefs through our Lord Je- 
fus. — This being the cafe, nothing can be the end oP 
all but the exaltation of the riches of his grace. It had 
been great grace to have freed linners from mifery, tho* 
they fliould never have been brought to the enjoyment 
of any pofttive good ; but to free finners from the moft 
inconceivable mifer)^ in eternal ruin, and to bring them 
into the higheft happinefs in eternal glory ; and all in a ' 
way of kindnefs, is ftill more aftonifhing ! And no rea- 
fon can be given for it, beftdes this in the text. That i 
in the ages to come^ he might flnw the exceeding riches oj 
his qrace, 

3^/y, That the ultimate end of all God's kindnefs is 
the exaltation of his grace, is evident, from the nature 
and import of the covenant of grace. You know therj 

in God*s Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ. 73 

arc two covenants, that of works and grace. The cove- 
nant of works was made with Adam for himfelf, and his 
pofterlty ; and in breaking it he loft his original righteouf- 
, nefs, and became liable to death ; was at once a bankrupt 
and rebel. The covenant of ofrace was made with Chrift; 
/ have made a covenant with my chofen ; or, as it might be 
I ead, with my chofen One. By this covenant all of us profefs 
to be fived : well, what is the nature of it ? If we adopt the 
Tcripture account of this covenant, it is to give freely and ab- 
fclutely, without any condition to be performed by men, as 
the meritorious caufe of its bleffinixs : all that God doth 
for them whom he will fave, is for his name's fake ; and 
this name is recorded, Exod. xxxiv. 5, 6. 'The Lord^ the 
Lord God merciful and gracious^ &c. It is called the cove- 
nant of grace, as defigning the glory of his grace in faving 
men ; and giving all freely, and of mere love, grace, and 
favour: for, where elfc can the difference betwixt the two 
covenants lie? it cannot lie in the eafmefs and diiTiculty 
of the duties enjoined ; for faith and repentance, which 
legalifts make the condition of the covenant of grace, are 
much more above the reach of natural powers than to for- 
bear eatinsr the forbidden fruit: and lincere obedience is 
more difhcult for a iinful, than perfect obedience was for 
an innocent man. But it lies iathis, that the one is a co- 
venant of promifc, while the other is a covenant of works; 
or the one is a covenant of better promifes than the other: 
for, whereas the promlfe of the iirii; was conditional, the 
promife of the fccond is free and abfolute; and without 
this it would have been a covenant of works, be the du- 
ties enjoined what you will: it therefore runs not in con- 
ditional terms, I will J if yezvill; but abfolute and foverelgn ; 
I will^ and ye fh air. To fmners of mankind, this covenant 
is juft a bundle of exceeding great and precious promifes ; 
— of promifes freely made and perform^cd without the leaft 
fhadow of a condition to be performed on their part : for if it 
be of works in the fmalleft degree, it is not of grace. This 
- K " . 

74 Tht Riches (/Grace difplaycd^ 

covenant indeed had a condition, or terms ; but thefe termf 
are not our believing, repenting, or obeying, but the obe- 
dience and i'uffcrings of tlie Son of Gcxl : and our bufinefs' 
in it is only to receive the bleilings of grace and glory, 
fully purchafed by Chriii; the Saviour, prefented and freely 
promifed to us finners. Hence we can find nothing Chrift 
has prefented to us but a clulkr of free and unconditional 
promifes: Heb, viii. lo. ''This is the covenant that 1 will 
make vjith the children of If real in thofe days^ faith the Lord: 
I ivill fut my laws into their ?nind, and write them in their 
hearts ; I wii^h be to them a God^ and they fhall he to me a 
fe&ple-: Confequently the exaltation of the riches- of grace 
is the grand end of it. 

4fZ?/v, That the exaltation of the riches of God^s grace 
is the ultimate end of all his kindnefs, is evident, from 
gofpel invitations^ as well as the gofpel covenant and pro- 
mifes : the gofpel abounds with the moft fweet and pref- 
fmg invitations to come and fhare of the kindnefs of God 
in Chrift : well, w^ho, or what are they, that are invited ? 
Are they righteous ? no ; they are guilty : / am not come 
to call the righteous^ but fnners to repentance: — are they 
friends? no ^ they are unholy and rebellious: Hearken un^ 
to me' ye that aVe' flout hearted^ and far from righteoufnefs : — 
Is the gc>i])ci invitation to them who bring money in their 
hand with Jofeph's ten brethren ? no ; it is to the poor 
and empty handed: i^, every one that thirfleth^ come ye to 
the waters^ &:c.~— Is it to the happy, the rich, the clothed? 
no ; it is to the miferable, poor, and naked : Becaufe thou art 
miferable, poor, blind^ and naked^ I counfel thee to buy of me 
gold tried in the fire that thou mayfl he rich^ &c. The mef- 
fengers are fent, (as one obferves) '^ not to the maniioib- 
houfes of the rich, or the palaces of the mighty; but 
to the high-ways and hedges, where mifery mourns, 
^"^ poverty pines, and bafeneis hides her head : their mef- 
^ fage is addrelTed to the poor, the blind, the maimed 
" perfoiis, who have no amiabk or ixcommeuding endow* 

in Go d's Kindnefs to Sinners zw Ch R i s T. 7 j: 

" ments, but every loathfome and dlfguftful property :** 
Nay, gofpel invitations arc conceived into the moll large, 
free, and cxtenfive terms ; Whofoever willj let hi?n come^ 
and take the water of life freely^ &c. He may partake 
as freely of my Spirit and unfpeakable blefTmgs, as freely 
as he drinks of the water of the well : if he is one of A^ 
dam's family, out of hell, let him come. — This is his gra- 
cious invitation, hook into me all ye ends of the earthy and 
J)e ye faved: which is not directed to a few fpecial favou- 
rites only ; but to all the ends of the earth, without ex- 
ception : and there are no terms ; or if ye w^ill have terms, 
they are juft God's free giving, and our partaking and 
receiving : therefore the end and defign of all God's kind- 
nefs is the exaltation of his grace. 

Sthly^ This truth is alfo evident from gofpel dodr'ines. 
The whole doclrine contained in our Bible may be reduc^ 
ed to two kinds, viz, the dodrines of the law^ and of the 
gofpel: the doclrines of the law tend to the creature's 
boafting ; but the doclrines of the gofpel tend all of them 
to exclude boafling, and to exalt the riches of grace; 
which fays, that it is God's ultimate end and delign to 
exalt grace. Many arc the precious gofpel doclrines we 
have in the Bible ; and there is not one of them but tends 
to the exaltation of the riches of God's grace ; as for in- 
ftance, in the gofpel we have the doclrine of our regenera- 
tion : Except a man he horn again^ he cannot enter into the 
kingdom of God. Well, what intereft or active hand have 
we in this ? no more than v>'e had in oiir firft creation : 
hence we are faid to he Qod^s workmanfJ/ip^ created in Curifl 
Jefus unto good works. We contribute no more to it than 
we did to our formation in the womb j John i. 13. Which 
were horn, 7iot of flefh^ nor of hkod^ nor of the \juill of^ 
hut of God, We are as inaclive in it, as the dry bones in 
Ezekiel's vifion were, in caufmg themfelves live ; or as 
^Lazarus, in raifmg himfeif ; of whom it is faid, Ifc- ihrd 
w^s deady came forth hound hand and foot ! It is tcrace th^t 

7^ The Riches of Grace difplayed^ 

does all ; Of his own will begat he us, by the word of truth. 
Our original, as new creatures, is nothing but the good 
fleafure of his will: and why, but juft that no flejh Jljoidd 
glor-y in his prefence. — In the word, we have the gofpel 
doclrine of jujlification ; and what hand have wc in it ? 
none at ail: for God juftiiies the ungodly, neither by 
making him godly before he juftify him, nor leaving him 
ungodly after he hath juftificd liim ; but the fame grace 
that juftifies him doth immediately fanclify him : but he 
is ungodly when he is juftified ; and this can no more 
qualify him for the bleffing, than an acl of rebellion can 
qualify a perfon for being firft minifter of flate: he j uni- 
fies freely, through the redemption that is in Chrijl Jefus, and 
not through any performance of ours ; Rom. iii. 2/j. Being 
jujlified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in 
Jefus Chrifl. — Again, reconciliation is a doclrine of the gof- 
pel; and what do w^e to bring about this? nothing; For 
God was in Chrift reconciling the world to hi?nfelf — Farther, 
adoption is another gofpel doclrine ; but have we any handi 
in it? no ; it is Chrift who gives us the power to becorae the\ 
fons of God, Do wx put ourfelves among the children? 
no; it is grace that does it: hence is that word, Beholt 
what jnanner of love the Father hath befiowcd upon us, thai 
*we fljould be called the fons of God. It is love, and w^onder- 
ful love : it is a certain truth, and wx fliould believe it 
firmly ; it is an importrmt truth, we ihould confider it fe- 
riouily ; it is a comfortable trutli, we fhould improve il 
to our greateft joy and coniblation. — In the word, we liav( 
likewife the doclrine of fandification ; but what hand has 
the will of man in that ? none at all ; but foiely and wholl; 
the will of God; Ezek. xxxvi. 26. Then will I fprinku 
clean water upon you, ' and ye fhall be clea?i, &c. — We hav< 
the doclrine oi perfeverante in grace, real and relative : an( 
do we keep ourfelves ? no ; but the omnipotence of God'sj 
grace : For we are kept by the pozver of God through faith 2/»4j 
to falvation^ i Pet. i. 5. — In the word, w^e have the doc* 

in God's Kindne/s to Sinners in Christ. 77 

trine of ^hrifcation : but what hand have we in that ? none 
at all ; T^he ^ift of God is eternal life^ through Jefus Chrijl our 

Lord, -In a word, all the gofpel doctrines have this 

dency, to exalt the riches of his grace. 

6thly^ That the exaltation of the riches of God's grace 
is the end of his kindnefs, is evident from gofpel interro- 
fratioits^ fcattered up and down the Bible; which all tend 
to expofe human merit, nullify the creature, and to mag- 
nify the riches of g.race ; or to make grace all and in all. 
One duller of gofpel queftions of this import, you will 
find, Horn. iii. 27. Where is hoaflin^ then? it is excluded: 
by what law f by the law of works f nay^ hut by the law of 
faith. Another clufter you have, i Cor. iv. 7. Whomak- 
€th thee to differ f what haft thou that thou haft not received? 
and if thou haft received it^ why doft thou boaft^ as if thou 
hadft not received it? Thefc, and the like queftions, though 
they do not take away all glorying and boafting from men, 
yet direct and confine their boafting to its proper object ; 
to make their boaft of God, the Chrift of God, and the 
grace of God. Would they but look to the rock from 
whence they are hewed, 'and hole of the pit whence they 
arc digged, they would find that they derive not their 
blcilings nor their beauty from themfelves ; but from love 
and kindnefs that they received them : not to facrifice to 
.their own net, but for the illuftration of grace, that no- 
thiog might be heard out of their mouths but praife ; fay- 
in o; Grace^ ([race unto it, 

7/,^/)', This truth is evident from gofpel declarations. 
If we run through the gracious declarations of the God of 
grace, fcattered up and down the word, we fhall fee that 
God's firft and leading purpofc, in all his favourable dif- 
penfitions to fallen man, is to demonftrate the fovereignty, 
and advance the glory of his grace : wlvcXt is the gofpel de- 
claration with refpecl: to the end of our election^ or predefti- 
natlon in Chrift? it is the honour of this darliniiy attribute : 
Eph. i. 5. Having predeftinated us to the adoption of children^ 

78 The Riches ^ Grace difplayed, 

hy Jefus Chrift to himfelf^ according to the good fleafure ^ 
its willy to the praife of the glory of his grace. The moving 
caufe of predeftinatipri was the good pleafure of his will, 
God blelTed for ever needed not have made a creature, far 
lefs predeftinated a finful creature to everlafting life ; but 
it was the good pleafure of his will that determined both : 
and the delign of the whole was great and excellent ; the 
fraife of the glory of his grace. As it was his will that 
difpofed the matter j fo it propounded to itfelf the praife 
of the glory of his grace, as the end. Our Lord had 
grace in himfelf, glorious grace ; and his end in predefti- 
fiating them was, that the riches of this grace might be 
fhown, and fo praifed : he was willing to make known the 
riches of his glory on the vejfels of mercy, — What, again, is 
the gofpel declaration with refpeA to the end of pardon f 
It is that he might fliew the exceeding riches of his grace: 
thus the Lord promifing his people a very extraordinary 
deliverance, fays, I^ot for your fakes do I this : what then 
is the inducement ? we find it in the following declaration, 
/, even I am he, that blotteth out your tranfgreffions for my 
nameU fake.. Which teacheth us, that God, and nothing 
in the creature, is the original, entire, fole caufe of all 
grace, and every gracious bleffing; and, particularly that 
of pardon : it is not only of him, and through him, but 
to him, for the honour of his adorable perfections, parti- 
cularly of his rich grace.— Nay, what is the gofpel decla-r. 
ration with refpe6l to the end of our fahationf it is juft 
the praife of his grace ; Eph. ii. 8. By grace ye are faved^ 
through faith ^ and that not of your f elves ^ it is the gift of God;, 
7iot of works left any man Jhould hoafl : where you fee works 
^arc difcarded, and the whole glory (l^voted to grace : and 
indeed works will not ftand with grace, and grace will 
not ftand with works. Grace will ftand well with Chrift's 
works ; hence it is faid to reign through, righteoufnefs : it 
iits on the throne and fways the fceptre thro* his works. 
But left any man fliould boaft, grace will ftan^ with faith j I 


in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ. 79 

but it will not Hand with works : // is of faith, that it 
might be of grace. Now to him that worketh not, but believ* 
eth on hijn that juflifieth the ungodly : — for to him that ivork^ 
fth, is the reward reckoned of debt, not of grace. 

%thly. This truth is alfo evident from faith's being ap- 
pointed the grand receiver of God's kindnefs, in and thro* 
Chrift Jefus. It muft be owned, that though faith, in its 
inherent nature and quality, be no more noble than any- 
other grace*, yet in the oilices which it executeth, it is 
far more excellent than them all. In its own nature it is 
no better than the reft ; but in the offices affigned it in the 
new covenant, it has the precedency : it has offices affign- 
ed it by God which none of them have, and a vaft variety 
bf them too : fuch as, 

I I. It is the office of faith to unite the foul to our Lord 
Jefus. It is not repentance, nor love, nor all the works 
in the world, that can unite us to Chrift ; but faith ties 
die marriage knot betwixt Chrift and us. As nothing 
makes man and wife but confent ; fo, none of the graces 
unite to Chrift, but faith. It is true indeed, the union 
>n Chrift*s part, is in order of nature firft made by the 
mnipotent agency of the Spirit; therefore he is faid to 
ipprchend us, before we apprehend him : but that which 
! Qiakcs the luiion on the part of the finner is faith, which 
I us as it were the fpiiitual joint and ligament by which 
Chrift and his people are united. Thus in one place we 
ire faid to live by Chrift ; Bccaufe I live, ye fJjall live alfo : 
u another /'^ fiiith ; The jufl fhall live by faith. How, by 
Doth ? why, by Chrift, as the fountain ; and by faith, as 
he pipe conveying water to us from the fountain : by 
rift, as the foundation ; by faith, as the cement, knit- 
ting us to the foundation : by Chrift, as the treafure ; by 
-aith as the key which opens and lets us into the treafure. 
it is true, there is a moral union betwixt Chrift and us 
^y love ; but the myftical union is only by faith, which 
the imoiediate tie betwi;s;t Chrift wd the Chriftiaa : and 

So The Riches of Okxce difplayed^ 


the myftical union by faith, is before the moral union by 
love; for by nature we are all enemies to Chrift. When 
do we love him ? never till by faith knitting us to his 
perfon we are perfuaded of his love to us : Herein is love^ 
not that we loved God^ but that God loved us^ and fent his 
Son to be the propitiation for our fins. So that between God's 
love and ours comes faith to make us one with Chrift : fo 
in this faith hath the pre-eminence. 

2. It is the office of faith in the new covenant to be 
the ?nean or inftrument in ouv jufif cation ; Rom. v. i. Be- 
ing jufiified by faith^ we have peace with God: not juftified 
by love, repentance, patience, or any other grace beiides 
faith. As God did iingle out Chrift from all others to be 
the only Mediator betwixt him and man, and his righte- 
oufnefs to be the meritorious and material caufe of our 
juftiiication ; fo he hath iingled out faith from all the o- 
ther graces, to be the mean or inftrument for apprehend- 
ing or appropriating the right to ourfelves : hence as it is 
called the righteoufnefs cf God, becaufe it was \\T0Ught oufe 
by Chrift ; fo it is called the righteoufnefs of faith, becaufe 
it is the only grace whofe office it is to lay hold on Chrift, 
and fo to appropriate his righteoufnefs for our juftification* 
As God highly honoured Mofes, above the reft of his bre- 
thren, when he was called up to the mount to receive the 
law from God's mouth, while they behoved to keep their 
diftance till he brought it down to them ; fo God has high- 
ly honoured this grace of faith, by exalting her to fuch fa- 
miliarity with himfelf, and by delivering into her hands 
this glorious privilege of juftification, that ftie, with all the 
humility of an handmaid, may convey the fame unto us, 
Our juftification therefore is by faith that it may be by 
grace ; and that God may have all the glory. 

3. It is the office of faith to be the inftrument oi fanBi' 
f cation; Acls xv. 9. And put no difference between them 

and us , purifying their hearts by faith. Faith may be faid tOj 
purif)^ us two Vyays. i. A5 itfelf is the principle grace 

' in God's Kindne/s to Sinners In Christ. 8t 

whereby our nature is reftored to the hnage of God^ andl 
fo freed from our original defilement: this belongs to its 
nature, and is common to it with all the other graces* 
2 . As it is the inilrument whereby we receive the purify -^ 
ins: virtue and influence of the blood of Chrift : this be* 
longs to its office, and is peculiar to itfclf. . No othet 
grace is the inftrument of our fanclification, but only faith* 
As the blood of Chrift is the laver, faith is the hand which 
applies it ; and in this fenfe it has been called by fome the 
inftrumental caufe of fandification. Faith looks away 
from all other things, and fixes its eye on Chrift crucified 
for fanclification : and, like the woman with the bloody 
ilTue, touches Chrift with its gentle trembling handj and 
immediately virtue proceeds from him for healing the di-* 
feafed foul. — Faith applies the promife of fan6tification t 
the word holds forth the promife of cleanfing from fin, to 
finners indefinitely, faying, / will fprinkle clean water upon. 
you^ and ye Jhall he dean, — Faith catches hold of it^ and 
brings it home, faying with the Pfalmift, Iniquities prevail 
againft me^ hut as for our tranfgrejfions thou Jh alt purge them 
away : and, with the church, He will fuh due our iniquities^ 
— Faith relies on the merit of Chrift's blood, and efficacy 
of his Spirit for fanclification, faying. The hlood of Jefus 
Chrijl his Son, cleanfeth us from all fin ; and acquiefceth in 
the power and faithfulnefs of God, for effecluating it, 
faying. Be it to us according to thy zvord. And thus faith 
purifies the heart. 

4. Our fianding in grace is by the inftrumentality of 
faith ; Rom. v. 2 . By whom alfo we have accefs hy faith Into 
this grace wherein we ft and* We ftand by grace as the ef- 
ficient caufe of our ftanding; by faith, as the inftrumen- 
tal caufe : We are kept hy the potver of God, through faith 
unto falvation. Sirs, if, the way of our being kept \Ytve 
by other graces, we fhould be ahvays in danger : but faith 
is never non-plufTed. Adam did not fiand by faith; and 
you know the ifTue : he had no accefs into the grace of 



§2 The Riches of Gkack dlfplayed^ 

ftanding ; but by faith we have accefs into that grace 
Ivherein we ftand. Faith ftands, and it Hands out all 
llorms: when waves are ready to overwhelm the foul, 
what doth faith ? it leads a man to the rock that is hig/fe? 
than iffelf. If the foul be in any difquiet, what recover* 
It? it is faith: Why art thou caft down^ O 7}iy foulf nvhj 
art thou d'lfqidefed within ??ief trujl in God, If a man b( 
fallen, what raifeth him again ? it is faith. If you let gc 
your faith, when you fall into fin, you will fall down t( 
the bottom : as when a man is going up a ladder, if hi 
footfteps fail, and he let go his hands, he muft £dl to th 
groundr Hence when Chrift forefaw Peter would fall, L 
faid, / have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not. 

I might mention feyeral other ofBces of faith ; fuch as 

that all iht joy we have in Chrifl is by faith : hence the a 

poftle' pfays, that the God of hope would fill them with a 

joy and peace in believing. — x\ll our co7nmunion with God i 

Chrift is by faith. But what need I mention particular 

for it is the inftriiment of the whole life of grace, as vifio 

'is of the whole life of glory : as there are but tv.^o ways c the natural life, the one in the womb, by th 

navel-ftring, whereby the child takes in all its nourifl 

ment ; the other when come out of the v/omb, by th 

mouth : io is it here, in the noiirifliment of fpiritual lif 

We are in this world as children in the womb ; and all th 

time faith is as the navel-llring to convey nourifhment 1 

us : but when faith hath performed all its offices, and v 

are grown up to perfecl men, to the meafure of the jlatu 

if the fulnefs of Chrifl^ then the foul is carried into the oth' 

world, and then faith ceafes to act, and the foul lives t 


l<lovv% why has God allotted faith to fuch ofEces as thej 
and no other grace? it is juft, T^hat in the ages to come^ 
'might fbew the exceeding riches of his grace. Hence is th 
word, Rom. iv. i6. Therefore it is of faith ^ that it ??iight 
hy grace i to the end the fromife might be fare to all the fet 

in GoD*s Kindnefs to Sinners /« Christ. 83 

ft is. of fait h^ that it might be of grace. Salvation was of 
grace in the contrivance, of grace in the purchafe, and 
of grace in the application of it ; and for that purpofe he 
ordered faith to be the general receiver: It is of faith. 
God choofed out fiiith that flill it might be of grace, that 
falvation might ftand unimpaired, and be as fully of grace 
as if grace had faved a man without working any thing in 

But, perhaps you may fay. How does it appear that 
faith has fuch an aptitude or fitncfs for fliewing forth 
the riches of grace? To this I anfwer, in the following 

(i.) It has an efpecial aptitude and fitnefs for advancing 
grace, as it brings nothing to God, but poverty, want, and 
emptinefs. Sirs, faith in itfelf, is the meaneft, the lowefl, 
the pooreft, and if we may be allowed the exprellion, the 
mod beggarly of all graces : foi: all other graces bring 
fomething to God; but faith brings nothing. ^' Love 
(as godly Mr. Trail fays) brings a flaming burning heart : 
repentance brings a bleeding broken heart to God : obe- 
dience brings a working hand to God : patience brings 
(as it were) a broad back to God, let him lay on what 
*' he will : but poor faith brings nothing but the poor 
" man's bare hand and empty dilli.*' The hands of all 
other graces are working hands ; but the hand of faith is 
merely a receiving hand: hence it is oppofed to working; 
Now to hi?n that worketh not^ but believeth^ &c. There is no 
doubt faith is a work, as to the nature of it ; but it does 
not, in its ofnce, come in as a work, nor does it look oa 
itfelf as fuch ; but as a mere receiver : and its language, when 
it favcs, is like Peter's and John's when they had healed the 
cripple. Why marvel ye-, or look ye fo earneftly on us, as if by 
our ozvn power and holinefs we had done thus ? Be it kiiown to. 
yoUy that we are only the inftrunients. So may faith fay, it- 
is not any excellency or holinefs in me, above other graces <, 
|th:it doth any more than they ; I am but an inftrumeut of 

$4 The Riches of Grace dlfplayed^ 

conveyance. It is true/ that the ac^ of faith, whereby 
we apprehend Chrift, is an act of obedience ; for God com- 
jnands us to believe in his Son : but it doth not juftify us. 
as it is an a6l of obedience ; for thus our juftification fhould 
be by works, but as it anfwers a free promife. Faith, as 
a work, anfwers a precept ; but faith as an inftrument 
^nfwers a free promife ; and grace hath put itfelf out intc 
promifes, and nothing anfwers thefe but faith ; and fo no- 
thing could have given the glory to grace but faith. When 
the fun fhines on a looking-glafs, O how glorious is it ! 
and what is the glory ? why, it is nothing but the fur 
Jhining on it ? juft fo is faith, and the foul believing the 
free grace of God. — So it is fuited to anfwer the end Oi 
the exaltation of grace. 

(2.) Faith is fuited to anfwer this end, as ity^^-^J" all in 
God, and from him : faith, as it brings nothing to him. 
io it expeds every thing from grace, and the God of all 
grace. Has the foul fmned ? Faith expecls a pardon from 
grace, and the God of all grace; Pfal. Ixv. 3. Iniquities 
'prevail againfl me ; as for cur tranfgrejfions thou /halt furgt 
them away. — It expects peace ; He will /peak peace, — It ex- 
jpecls purity ; He will fubdue our iniquities, — It expedls au- 
dience ; I will direB my prayer to thee, — It expecls falvation ; 
l/Ve believe that we Jhallbe faved. — Nay, whatever the wants 
of the foul are, the language pf faith is, all iriy wants be 
upon thee. — It expecls all from him as the God of all grace; 
and fo it is exceedingly fitted for reaching this end, 1.hai 
in the ages to co?ne^ he might Jhew the exceeding riches of his 

grace. And in this way grace runs freely : for it is the 

narrownefs of our faith which hampers our felicity : Wc 
are not Jl rattened in God, but in ourfehes, 

(3.) Faith is fuited to reach this end, as it adventures 
its all upon the word of God's grace. Faith will receive 
nothing but as it lies in a word of grace ; and it will re- 
ceive every thing as it lies there, fiying, God hath fpoken 
in his hoUnefs : It will venture nothing upon the word of 

in Co d's Kindnefs to Sinners zw Ch R i s T. 85 

men or angels ;* but all upon God's word of rich grace. 
Here (fays a believing foul) I have a gracious God's faith- 
ful promife ;. and if it fhould fail me, 1 would certainly 
fink for ever. My foul, and the falvation of my foul, 
yea, all my concerns for time and eternity are put on that 
bottom, or in that (hip ; if it mifcarry, I am gone for ever: 
but .ther,e is no fear of that; for he is not a man that he 
Jhould lye^ nor the Son of man that he [fhould repent ; and 
therefore I am fafe for ever. 

(4.) Faith is fuited to this end, as it afcribes the glory of 
all to the exceedins: riches of orace. If God had ufed any 
other grace, fome honour would have reflected upon it, 
and fo much have been taken away from God : but when 
it is through faith, boafling is excluded ; for faith doth all 
'by looking to Chrifl, and free grace in Chrifl. Faith robs 
not the Chrifl of God, nor the grace of God of a grain 
weight of their due ; and hence to live by faith^ and hy 
Chrijl^ is one : Chrifl liveth in me ; and the life that I live 
in the flefh^ is hy the faith of the Son of God. It is fo in the 
believer's account : for it is the very inflinct of faith to 
attribute all to Chrifl and grace ; Tet not /, hut Chrift that 
lives in me : and it is fo in God's accounts, and therefore 
'Chrift cares not how much he attribute ; for he doth but 
herein attribute all to himfelf. When he fays. All things 
are pojjible to them that believe^ he derogates nothing from 
himfelf ; but it is all one as to fay, All things are poflible 
-to my povrer which faith makes ufe of. Our Lord, when 
he had wrought a miracle, or pardoned a perfon, would 
feem to deny himfelf the honour, and afcribe it to their faith, 
by faying, Thy faith hath faved thee ; and, Thy faith hath 
made thee whole ; which was enough to have made any 
man proud of his faith ; and had it been any other grace, 
it would have made it proud : but he knew that the faith 
which was in the hearts of thofe whom he faved and heal- 
ed, faid within them. Lord it is thou' iv ho haft faved and 
' l)€alcd me. The language of faith, when it has done all. 

86 Th^ Riches g/* Grace difplaypd^ 

■ .- ^ ■■ ^ 

Is like the language of that ftrpng believer, Paul, 7 labour 
ed more abundantly than they all ; yet not /, but the grace oj 
God in me. Though this grace does more than all graces 
yet it fays, I am nothing, I have done nothing: it is nol 
J, but the grace of God. 

hajlly^ It is evident from God's way of dealing wit! 
perfons when he brings them under the reign of grace. Lei 
us enquire then, what is the way wherein our Lord ufej 
to bring finners out of the natural, into the gracious ftate 
and we will fee that the end and defign of God's kindnefs 
is, 'That in the ages to come^ he might Jhew the exceeding riche. 
of his grace. 

I. The Lord's ordinary and ufual method in bringing 
finners to himfelf, is to convince them of iin and mifery 
\)y fetting home the law, and awakening their confciences 
As when the Lord comes to ihew kindnefs to a foul, h( 
finds it ftretched out on the bed of fecurity, at eafe, anc 
well pleafed with its prefent cafe, fancying that its fpirl 
tual condition is very good, and fo undervaluing the Phy 
fician, which is always the cafe where the ficknefs is nol 
felt ; They that be whole need not the Phy/iciany but they thai 
^re ftck : therefore the Spirit, by the word, bears home 
convictions of fin and miferv, difcovers to the man how 
he flands guilty of the breach of the law, how he has for- 
feited all right to bleffednefs and life, how he is under the 
curfe and maledidion of the lawgiver, and the infupport- 
able wrath of the living God. Now, this work of con- 
viction layeth the finncr low before God ; for thereby the 
man is difcovered to be undone in himfelf, has his mouth 
ftopt, and has nothini^ to plead for himfelf by way of ex- 
tenuation, nor of apology; and has nothing wherewith 
he mav come before the Lord to atone for his fins, or 
make fatisfaction to God's juflice. — Thus the Spirit con- 
vinces of fin; thus he opens the finner's eyes; turns him 
from darknefs to light ; and thus he is lofl, in himfelf, 
like a loft flieep. 

in God's KinJne/i to Sinners in ChKist. 87 

2. tjpon this the man is lliade to renounce all his for- 
ftier grounds of hope and confidence ; all his former duties, 
good works, civility, negative, comparative, and pofitivc 
holinefs, and whatever he placed his confidence in former- 
ly ; yea, all his righteoufneffes are as filthy rags, and are 
counted as loft and dung : fo that he hath nothing with^ 
in himfelf that he can expecl to be juftified by before God; 
but on the contrary he findeth himfelf to be under the curfe ; 
and what he thought before to be his righteoufnefs, is now 
by the light of the law, and the difcovery he hath of his 
natural condition, found to be fin and iniquity before God; 
and therefore, to be fo far from bringing any relief to him, 
that thereby his anxiety is made greater, and his cafe more 

3, When the foul is in this melancholy cafe and con- 
dition, the Spirit of God, by means of the gofpel, difco- 
vers the fulnefs, fuitablenefs, fatisfaftorinefs, glory, and 
excellency of the remedy^ together with the fouPs right to 
it, in virtue of the deed of gift and grant, which is the 
finner's claim of right. In the gofpel of the grace of God,, 
it is revealed what Chrifi: is, and what he hath done and 
fuffered, to finifli tranfgrefiion, fatisfy juftice, and bring 
in an everlafting righteoufnefs ; for there is revealed the 
righteoufnefs of God from faith to faith ; there he fees that 
the Father is well pleafedwith Chrift and his facrifice, how- 
ever ill pleafed he be with him and his fin : whence he 
concludes his cafe is not defperate, but there is hope in 
Ifrael concerning him. Thereupon the foul cleaves to Chrift 
in the word of grace, as a drowning man doth to a rope 
thrown to him to hale him afhore ; faying, It is a faith- 
ful faying^ and worthy of all acceptation^ that Chrifl Jefus 
came into the world to fave ftnners^ of whom I am chief 'This 
is my reft, here will I flay ; and fo he is out of the reach 
of condemnation. Now, this being the way, doth it not 
fay, that the end of all God's kindnefs, is, That in the 
figes to comey he might fhew the exceeding riches of his graces 

88 The Riches o/' Grace difflayed^ 

II. The Second Head, was to fpeak of the thing GodE 
dcfigned to fliew in his kindnefs, namely, his grace* 
There is nothing more neceffary for us to know, than 
what the grace of God is, that he has been at fo mucK 
pains to exalt. And in order to give you fome notion of 
it, I would firft mention fome different coniid^rations un- 
der which God's grace comes ; and fecondly fix upon the 
confideration under which it comes in the text; and en- 
quire into the import of grace. 

I/?, I am to mention fome conjiderations under which 
grace comes. And, indeed, though grace is one^ confix 
dered as in God, there being nothing plural in the one 
divine Being: but as the fea, which is in itfelf but one, 
yet as it hath feveral coafts, receiveth different names ; fa 
the grace of God admits of feveral diftincVions, and falls 
under feveral coniiderations ; and under every confidera- 
tion, it is riches of grace : fuch as, — Grace confidered in the 
fpring ; — in the well-head ; — in the immediate recipient ; 
— in the channel ; — in the flreams ; — and in the veffels : 
and in all of them it is the exceeding riches of grace. 

I. The grace of God may be confidered as in it^ fpring 
and rfe; this is grace in the nature of God, which eter- 
nally feeds the well-fprings of grace: thus he is called the 
God of all grace, i Pet. v. lOc But the God of all <?race^ 
who hath called us to his eternal glory by Chrift Jefus^ after 
that ye have f offered a while ^ make you perfed. We are by 
nature gracelefs ; but God is by nature gracious : he not 
only gives grace, but grace is natural to him, and it mufl 
be fo ; for grace is a great excellency and perfection in 
men ; and reafon itfelf fays, that whatever perfedlion or 
excellency is to be found in the creature, mufl be emi- 
nently in the one infinitely perfect Being : accordingly the 
defcription given in Exod. xxxiv. 6. joins his Being and 
his grace together; he proclaimed his name, The Lord^ 
(or Jehovah, v/hich is his Being,) merciful and gracious 
yea, if he were not gragxous as to his nature, he could no^ 

in God's Klndnefs to Sinners in Christ- 8^ 

be gracious as to his difpenfations : it is bccaufe he is gooJ^ 
that he does good ; and grace being his nature, O how great: 
muft the riches of grace be ! Jul]? as great as God is, fo great 
is his grace* His nature being infinite, his grace muft be 
infinite too, and circumfcribed by no limits : the exercife 
or difpenfation of grace may be, and is hmited by himfclf; 
but his grace, the principle and firft fpring cannot be li- 
mited. O what a mine of grace is in the nature of God! 
O what infinite treafures and ftorcs of grace, which have 
had an unchangeable habitation in his heart, and nature, 
from all eternity, and will have to all eternity! 

2. Grace may be confidered as in the well-head; andt 
this is grace in the purpofe of God, 2 Tim. i. 9. Who hatb 

faved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to 
our works, but according to his own purpofe and grace. There 
is not only a mine of grace in the nature of God ; but in 
the heart, purpofe, decree, and defign of God: fo there 
are riches of grace in the purpofe, as well as in the nature 
of God. From all eternity he had a purpofe of grace to- 
wards fome of Adam's fallen family ; he fet his love ou 
them, and purpofed to maniferi; his love and grace to them, 
by a variety of ineftimable blefiings of grace : and however 
much he has <(iven an eo^refs unto, there is ftill more in 
his heart. Thefe on whom he fet his love, are according: 
to this purpofe, in due time, called from darknefs to ^ight ; 
tranllated from the kinG:dom of the devil, into that of his 
dear Son ; unto whom he did alfo purpofe their confor- 
mity in grace, and their enjoyment of him in glory. 

3. Grace may be confidered as in the immediate reci- 
pient of it, our Lord jefus ; hence we read of his being 
fulloi grace, John i. 14. The %vord was made flejh, — Full 

f g/ace and truth, Confidering our Tord Jefus, in his 
divine nature, or as he is God, he is the fpring of 
grace equally with the Father and the Holy Ghoft : but 
viewing him as God-man Mediator, he is only the firfl 
receptacle of grace. from God to the fons of men. We 


9b The Riches of Gkace difplayed, 

got our ftock of grace in our own hand in the firft Adam ; 
but we foon played the prodigal with it, by riotous living: 
therefore God would not truft us with it a fecond time : 
Befides, we are but weak vefTels, and of fmall fize, not 
able to contain at once all thefe riches which God had 
to communicate ; and therefore he laid it up in Chrift, 
made him our treafurv and ftore-houfe : In him are hid all 
tht treafures of iv'ifdom and knoivledge ; and it f leafed the Fa- 
ther that in him fhould all fulnefs divell : not only fulnefs^ 
but all fulnefs of grace ; and this for us : For out of his 
fulnefs have all we received^ and grace for grace. Whence 
had Abraham, Mofes, David, Peter, Paul, and John all 
their graces? it was out of Chrift's fulnefs: Eph. iv. 7. 
^0 every one of us is grace given, according to the meafure of 
the gift of Chrift, If ye would be filled with all the fulnefs 
of God, ye muft feek it, and find it in him, In ivhom dwells 
all the fulnefs of the godhead bodily : and this fhall not be in 
vain ; for, ICe are complete in him, O what riches of grace 
are in him ! I fliall not fay that his difpenfatory fulnefs of 
grace is equal to his perfonal fulnefs, as he is the Son of 
God ; but it is an unmeafurable fulnefs of grace transfer- 
red from the divine into the human nature of Chrift, and 
through him communicated to our fouls. All the faints 
are velTels of mercy, which are to be filled ; and the grace 
of our Lord is a fea of love and grace, which knows nei- 
ther fhore nor bottom ; and all the fiiints are thrown into 
that fea of the love and grace of Chrift, to be filled in all 
the powers and faculties of their fouls, Eph. iii. iB. l^hat 
ive may be able to comprehend with all faints, what is the 
breadth, and length, a7id depth, and height, and to know the 11 
love of Chrift which paffeth kiiowled^e ; that ye might be filled^^ 
with all the fulnefs of God, 

4. Grace is confidered in the channel in which it runs ; 
and this is grace in the gofpcl, and promifcs of it, which <' 
are called the means of grace ; and by the apoftlc, The gofpel 
cf the grace of God -^ and the grace of God which brings faU 

in God's Kitidnefs to Si?men in Christ. 9I 

vation. If you take grace out of the gofpel ; it is but ai> 
empty fhadow. There is not only grace in the nature 
of God, grace in the purpofe of God, and grace in the 
Chrift of God ; but this grace has put forth itfelf in the 
gofpel, and the proiuifes of the gofpel to us ; and this is 
the foundation of faith to Tinners of mankind : for, though 
the bleilings of grace be difpcnfed fovereignly, hke grace 
itfelf; yet, in the means of grace, it is offered uniyerfally 
to all who hear the gofpel : 'To me ivho am lefs than the leaft 
of all faints^ fays Paul, is this grace giveiiy that I Jhould 
preach among the Gentiles the unfearchable riches of Chrift. 
I,t is not all the riches of grace in the nature of God, that 
can be a ground for faith to finners ; but grace as con- 
tained in the great and precious promifes of God, and exhi- 
bited in the gofpel of his grace : the riches of the grace of 
God, running in this channel, is a folid ground for faith 
to build upon. O the exceeding riches of grace in the 
promifes 1 they are exceeding great and precious : they are a 
rich mine of fpiritual treafure. The gofpel is a rich my- 
.lery, containing, revealing, and exhibiting the Chrift of 
God, and the riches of God ; grace in him to loft finners j 
riches which cannot be told over to eternity; Col. i. 27. 
ro lohom God would make hncivn ivbat is the riches of the glory 
'.f this my ft cry among the Gentiles, 

5. Grace is confidered as in t\\Q^ ft reams ; or grace vent- 
ing itfelf in various hleffmgs to the Tons of nien : as in pre- 
venting: us with the bleiiini^s of his eoodnefs, which is 
preventing grace ; for zve love him becaife he fir ft loved us : — 
In quickening us when vve are dead in trefpaftes and iins, 
i which is quickening grace; God ivho is rich in mercy ^ — 
■ hath quickened us together zvith Chrift^ when dead in fins : 
— In forgiving our Tins, and accepting our perfons, which 
is juP^'fying grace ; Being jufnfied freely by his grace : — In^ 
fuppiying our wants, which is providing grace; 2Ay God 
pjall fupply all your wants out sf his riches in glory., by Chrift' 
\Jefus : — In directing in doubts, which is calightcning 


^% The Riches ^Grage dlfplayedj 

grace ; / ivUl guide thee with ?nine eye : — Upholding us in 
our diftrclTes^ which is fupporting grace ; My grace Jhall 
iefufficient in your weaknefs: — Comforting us under our 
difcouragenrients, which is comforting grace ; 2 Cor. i. 3,4. 
Biejfed be God^ even the Father of our Lord Jefus^ the Father 
qj mercies^ and the God of all comfort^ who comforteth us in all 
cur tribulations : — and glorifying us at laft, which is crownr 
ing grace ; for. The gift of God is eter?ial life, O the ma- 
nifold flreams of grace ! they are fuch as cannot be rec- 
koned up: hence the Pfalmiit cries out, Pfal. xl. 5. Many^ 
O Lord my God, are thy wonderful works ; and thy thoughts 
which are to us-ward^ they cannot be reckoned up in order to 
thee : If I would declare and fpeak of the?n^ they are more than 
can be numbered* Pfal. cxxix. 17, 18. How precious alfo 
are thy thoughts to me^ God! how great is the fum of them: 
if I fI:ould count them^ they are more in number than the f and* 
They are juft fuited to all the neceflities of the linner. 

6. Grace may be confidered as it is in the veffels that re- 
ceive it, or men and women who partake of it : and this 
is cither common or fpecial ; common grace, of which hypo- 
criics are the fubjects : for we have no more reafon to queilion 
if there be common Q:race, than toqueflion if there be fuch 
creatures as hypociites in the viiible church \ for what is 
a hypocrite, but a finner painted over with common grace; 
or a wicked man in a good man's coat. Some are the 
futg'ccrs of comrnon awakening grace ; hence Judas cried 
out. / have fihned in that I have betrayed innocent blood ; and 
Cain, My punifbmcnt is greater than I can bear : — Some of 
illu uniting grace ; hence we read of them who were once 
^nlis^htcned. and yet may fall away : — Some are the fub- 
jecls qf i eilraining grace ; hence we find God afccrtains he 
had bellowed it on a hearhea : / with-held thee from finning \}^ 
agairft rue : — Some tix e fu Lj eels of ailifling grace ; Maiiy fhall 
Jay in that day.^ Lord^ L')rd. have we not prophefied in thy name? 
— Some of ccmm.on comfort: ng grace ; hence it is faid of 
the fcony-ground hearers, that they received the word wita 


in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ. 95 

joy^ yet their nearts were not changed by it:- Some of 
common reforming grace ; hence we read of fome who e- 
fcaped the pollutions that are in the world through lujl, — There 
is like wife ffecial grace bellowed on the objects of fpecial 
love : as preventing grace, which is that love and grace 
which goeth before any good motives or actions of ours, 
according to that of the prophet, / was found of them that 
fought me not : — Regenerating grace, which is the free love 
and grace of God on the foul, enabling it to will and to 
choofe the things that are pleafing to God ; according to 
that of the apoftle. It is God that worketh in us both to will 
and to do of his good fleafure : — Juftifying grace, which is 
the free love of God fhining on the foul, not imputing its 
,tranfgreflions, and in making it righteous without works; 
Being jujlifed freely by his grace : — Sanctifying grace ; in 
which the free grace of God is fhewn in enabling us to do 
the things that are good ; for we are not fufficient of our- 
f elves to think any thing as of our f elves ; but our fufficiency is 
of God : — Strengthening grace; which is the love of God 
fliewn to the foul, in farther enabling it both to fpiritual 
actions, and to the managing of the good fight againft the 
world, the devil, and the fleffi ; which the apoftle calls a 
being- ftrengthened ivith all might in the inner man: — Com- 
forting grace, which is his love fliining upon the foul 
,when fad and heavy, refrefliing it either with views of the 
habits of grace in the foul, or from the fea lings of fome 
promifcs, giving the foul full perfuafion of the love of 
God, according to that, The Spirit itfelf beareth witnefs 
with our fpirits ; — Common grace, neither changes the 

ftate nor the nature; but faving grace doth both. 

So* much for the fcveral confiderations of grace,. 

idly^ I come to fix on the view it falls under in the 
Text, and to enquire into the import of it. And by grace 
here, we are to underftand grace in th^f-pring or fountain 
of it ; that is, grace in the nature of God, And this in- 

p4 T^^ JljcHEs g/* Grace dlfplaycd^ 

I. The fovereignty of love in God: it does not import 
fimply lorce^ but the love of a fovereign, tranfcendantly fu- 
perior to every fubjed. One who may do what he will ^ 
and may chufe whether he will love or not. There may 
be love bet\yixt two equals ; and an inferior may love a 
fuperior : but love in a fuperior to an inferior is grace ; 
hence when princes love their fubjecls, they are faid to 
be gracious to them ; but though fubjecls may love 
their princes, yet they are not faid to be gracious to 
them. Now, God is an infinite fovereign, who might 
have chofen whether he would love us or not ; and 
therefore, for him to love us, and to love us with a 
fpecial love, is grace : thus when God proclaims his name 
to Mofes, that is the firft word, The Lord^ the Lord ; and 
merciful and gracious are the next : I'he Lord^ the Lord God 
merciful and gracious^ Exod xxxiv. 6 , I am the fovereign 
Lord of all the creatures ; if 1 love, or fliew mercy, this 
is grace: and chap, xxxiii. 19. / "ivill be gracious to whom 
I will be gracious ; and will fhew mercy to ivhom I will fJjew 
mercy- He fpeaks like a king, and like the Lord of heaven 
and earth. Grace (if I may ufe the expreflion) is the moft 
Sovereign, predominant, and abfolute principle in the na- 
ture and heart of God: to it belongs the dominion, not 
only in refpecl of all things out of God ; but even in re^ 
fpecl of all the other attributes of God, all which ufe their 
intereft for the accompliihing the defigns of grace. Altho' 
the other attributes of God are to have their proper glory 
out of our falvation ; yet in this work, they, as it were, 
acl in a fubferviency to free grace, effecling what it defigns: 
they put in their joint flock indeed ; but are content, that 
that glory fliould come unto them, fo far as. they fubferve 
Sflorious 2frace in its contrivance. What elfe means the 
throne of grace f not the throne of power, holinefs, or ju- 
ftice; but the throne of grace : Heb. iv. 16. I^t us there- 
fore come boldly to the throne of grace. Why is it faid to reign \ 
Grace reigns thro* righteoufnef : juftice, holinefs, or pow^^ 

in GoD*5 Kindnefs to Sinners i« Christ. jj" 

reign not, but grace*. And why is God faid to be love^ 
and not any other perfection ? it is juft becaufe, according 
to the manifeftation he has made of himfelf in Chrift. Love 
is the reigning perfection of his nature, which gives a die 
or tinge to all thefe other perfections : hence they are all 
exercifed in a way of love for the falvation of finners. 

2. The grace of God imports in it the freedom of love. 
Grace is juft the freenefs of love^ The import of it is a 
fuperabundance of freedom both in mercy and love : hence 
when the church fays in her prayer. Receive us graciotfjly ; 
God anfwers her, / will love them freely. When God loves, 
he loves freely ; and grace denotes the freedom of love : 
and love in refpecft of its freenefs is called grace^ Rom. iii. 
24. Being jiiflifed freely by his grace. And hence things 
given out of grace are faid to be ^wtn freely^ i Cor. ii. 12. 
^hat we might know the things that are freely given us of God, 
As God could not obtain any advantage by our happinefs^ 
£0 he would not have fuftained any danger by our mifery: 
if there would have been no profit in our blood, yet for 
certain there would have been no lofs by it. But the rea- 
Ibn of his love is from within himfelf, as God's love to If- 
rael was, Deut. vii. 7, 8. The Lord did not fet his love upon 
you^ nor choofe you^ becaiife ye were more in iiumher ; hut he- 
caufe the Lord loved you : where you have the aB^ he loved 
them ; the ground of that acV, both negative and pofitive; 
negative, it was not for their number ; but pofitive, Becaufe 
he loved them. He fet his heart and love on us, merdv 
out of his own free will : hence they are joined together, 
I Eph. i. 5, 6. Lie predeflinated us to the adoption of fins ^ ac* 
' cording to i,-^ good pleafure of his will^ to the praife of ths 
glory of his grace. He refpecfls not conditions more than 
perfons : he requires indeed of us faith, love, and repen- 
tance to falvation; but doth he require them as conditions 
of falvation ? no : he rather requires them as parts of fal- 
vation ; as efiential to Hilvation : he requires them ; but 
idoes he require them as condition's of grace? no: but as 

9^ The Riches of Grxce dlfplayed^ 

effefts of grace, i Tim. i. 14. 'It he grace of God was excee-d^ 
ing abundant in faith and love^ which is in Chrijl Jefus ; 
working faith and love. — Thus grace implies love, and 
the freedom of love: it implies giving^ and more than 
giving; giwmg freely. 

g. The grace of God includes in it the height of the love 
of God. Grace in God denotes not only love, but the 
height of love : a love that will fhew all its goodnefs, Exod. 
xxxiii. 19. / will JJoew thee all my goodnefs : what follows? 
/ will he gracious to whom I will he gracious. For God to be 
gracious to us, is fo to love us, as to beftow all that be- 
comes creatures to have from him ; all that is fuitable to 
the condition of a creature: hence, when the apoflles 
would wifh all good to thefe to whom they WTite, they 
flill wiih grace, becaufe it brings the utmoft good with it: 
The grace of our Lord Jefus ChriJl be with you all. It is love 
extended to the utmofl. If it be grace; he has a Son, 
and he wall give him, and give him in the beft manner j 
and make a gift of him : he gives him crucified ; God fo lov- 
ed the world, that he g^ave his only begotten Son. If it b 
grace, he hath a Spirit, and he pours him forth richly y 
By the renewing of the Holy Ghofl fhed on us abundantly 
through Jefus Chrijl our Saviour. If it be grace, he hath 
heaven to bellow, and he will beftow it ; and that heave 
Ihall be to exhauft (if it w^ere poflible) the exceeding nchesj 
of grace that are in him to eternity : for God the Lord i 
a fun and fhield, and he will give grace and glory. 

4. The grace of God includes the conjlaiicy and immuta' 
bility of love : hence is that word. It is of faith that it migh 
be of grace, to the i?itent that the promifes ??iight be fire to a 
the feed: and w-e read of the fure mercies of David. As ther 
is no variablenefs nor fliadow of turning in the nature o 
God ; fo there is no variablenefs nor ftiadow of turning in 
his love. His love ftands ftill as the fun did upon mount 
Gibeon ; it goes not down nor declines, but continues in 
its full llreneth j Ifa. xliv. 7, With rcerlafling kindnefs will 

in God's Kindnefs to Shniers In CHRist, 97^ 

/ have mercy on thec^ faith the Lord thy Redeemer, Love, 
in the creature, is like water in the river that falls and rifes ; 
but in God, like water in the fea, that is always full: no- 
thing can alter his love, nor take it off when he has fixed 
it ; therefore he is faid to rejl In his love. Put net your 
trujl in princes^ fays the Pfalmift, nor in the fon of man^ in 
ivhom there is no help ; his breath goeth forth ^ he returneth 
to his earth ; in that very day his thoughts perifh : yea, fome- 
times their thoughts and affections die to their greateft fa- 
j vourites before they die themfelves ; but his love is con- 
\ ftant : / a?n the Lord^ I change not ; that is, if I be God, 
; and whilft I am God, I will not ceafe to love you. I will 
not change ; I will not be God, if I be not your God, and 
love you. And this manifefts his love to be grace : fo the 
apoflle fpeaking of the eleclion of Ifaac, fays, That the pur^-, 
pofe of God fh all ft and, 

5 . Grace includes in it the refolutenefs^ noblenefs^ and in" 
vinciblenefs of love. God's purpofes of love are fo refolute 
and noble, that nothing fliall divert them. Grace hatli 
always a generoiity accompanying it : that as God is king 
of all the world, and will be gracious to whom he will be 
gracious ; fo he refolveth for ever to be fo, and nothing; 
fliall hinder him from being fo : there fliall be neither //> 
nor buts, If my people forfake my laiv ; what then? / wilt 
not take away my loving- kindnefs from him. And, / was a 
perfecutor and a blafphemer ; hut I obtained mercy, O the 
invuicibiencfs of love : it has run throusfh a w^orld of 
difficulties already, and it will run through more; for lovs. 
is ftrong as death^ jealoufy is cruel as the grave. The love 
of God is abfolutely invincible ; it overcomes all difficul- 
ties; Who fiall feparate us from the love of God f So invinci- 
ble is his love, that it overcomes all the evils in his people: 
How jh all I male thee as Adniah^ and fet thee as Zeboimf So 
invincible is his love, that if any enemy comes to accufe 
the people of God, it but moves him to blefs them the 
Iciorc. Thus when Balaam v.'ould lav lomething^ to the 


98 The Riches^ Grace difplayed^ 

charge of God's people, and accufe and curfe them ; what 
fays the God of grace ? Neverthelefs the Lord thy God woidd 
not hearken to Balaam ; hut the Lord thy God turned the curfe 
into a hlejjing, 

6. It includes the pleafantnefs and delightfulnefs of love, 
and of difpenfing the fruits of love : the graciOufnefs of 
God, not only includes his doing all for his people freely, 
or without defert ; or willingly, and without conftraint ; 
or forwardly, and unfought ; but he doth all rejoicing, 
even with his whole heart and foul. Grace and mercy 
pleafes him ; and he is pleafed with occafions of ilrewing 
mercy : it is no burden to him to do us good. It is de- 
• V lightful to the mother to have her breafts drawn, or fuck- 
ed ; fo is it to God to have the breafts of his grace and 
mercy. He has a peculiar delight in extending mercy to 
linners of mankind ; but he has no plcafure in their de- 
ftruclion: He doth not afflict willingly ; but he delights in 
Jhewing mercy. He is flow to anger : but he is ready to for- 
give. Were God all wrath, that might fright us from 
him ; but feeing he is grace, that like a load-ftone may 
draw us to him. Accordingly it is propofed every where 
for this end, Joel ii. 12, 13. 'Therefore alfo now faith the 
Lord^ turn ye even to me with all your hearty and with fafting. 
and with weepings and with raourning; and rent your heart 
and not your garments^ and tur7i unto the Lord your God , 
for he is .gracious and mercifuL 

7 . The grace of God imports the liberality and ferpe- 
jj tuity of his love. Grace, or gracit:)ufnefs, being the na- 

ture of God, faith that he will do us good liberally and 
perpetually: or, as the apofde James fpeaks. He gives libe- 
rally and upbraids not. The divine grace, like the oliv( 
tree in the prophet's vifion, is always .dropping: and h( 
upbraideth not ; he doth not upbraid us with our poverty 
who receive ; nor doth he upbraid us with the riches o: 
the gifts which himfelf beiloweth. And becaufe they flow 
from his nature^ he doth not in the leaft empty himfelf 

ifi God's Kindnefs to Sinnsrs in Christ. 99 

how much foever he fills the creature with his goodnefs. 
Some men ading without judgment, exhauft their funds, 
and imdoe themfelves by liberality to others: and they who 
have molt to give, cannot give always. It is faid, Job 
xxxvii. II. By watering;^ he wearieth the thick cloitd ; that 
is, God commandeth the cloud to give rain fo long, that 
it hath not a drop more to give, but is quite fpent : but 
it is not fo with the God of grace. Springs or fountains 
are never wearied or fpent with running ; becaufe their 
waters come as freely, and as fail as they go: fo God 
is an everlafting fpring of grace ; he is not wearied nor 
emptied, by wliat lie gives out to us, becaufe all fioweth 
from his natural gracioufnefs, as from a fountain. 

III. The third Head, was to fpeak of the riches of 
(Trace, And here 1 fliall fliow, firft, what is imported in 
the expreiTion, riches of grace ; and fecondly, £hew what 
cf grace is the riches of it. 

i/l, I am to enquire into the import of the cxprefiloni, 
riches cf grace : and as this is a metaphor borrovvxd from 
riches among men, and God is here fpoken of after the 
manner of men, the phrafe may import, the following 

I . The prccioufnef and excellency of God's grace ; for 
frequently the precioufnefs and excellency of a thing is 
called the riches of it. Thus rich apparel, is excellent ap- 
parel ; rich v/ine, excellent wine; a rich cordial, is a preci* 
ous and excellent cordial : fo when God is faid to have riches 
of grace, it doth carry in it, that the grace of God is preci- 
ous and excellent ; and indeed, fuch is the excellency of 
[;Tace, tha.t ail the excellencies in tlie creature are ccather- 
ed together to fliadow it out; Ezck. xvi. 10, 11, 12. / 
clothed thee alfo vjith broidered iz^ork, and fl:od thee ijuith had" 
gcrs fiin^ and I girded thee about ivith fine linen^ and I covered 
thee with fdk ; I decked thee alfo with ornaments^ and I put 
bracelet^ upon thine han.dsy and a chain on thy neck^ and I put 

N 2 

ICO The Riches ^ Grace difplayed^ 

jewels on thy forehead^ and ear-rings in thine ears, and a 
beautiful crown upon thy head. Here is a collediion of the 
moft excellent, and precious things in the world, that are 
juft fliadows of God's grace, real and relative to his people 
in the day he brings them into a covenant relation with 
Jiimfelf. Such is the precioufnefs and excellency of God's 
grace, that there is nothing which tends to make any 
thing precious, or excellent, but what is to be found in it. 
Thus antiquity makes things precious ; antient pieces 
of coin or medals are reckoned precious : and fo the 
grace of God is precious ; for it hath been of old from ever- 
iafling.- — Things far fetched are precibus ; and if fo, grace 
5s precious ; for it came by Chrift Jefus from heaven ; 'The 
law came by Mofes^ but grace and truth by Jefus Chrijl, — ■ 
Things dear bought are precious : and if fo, grace is pre- 
cious ; for it coft Chrift's blood : it is true, he did not pur- 
chafe grace, as in the fountain, but grace fent him ; For 
God fo loved the worlds that he gave his only begotten Son: 
l>ut he purchafed grace as it is in the vefTels ; for all graces 
are the fruits of the Spirit : and the Spirit is fhed on us a- 
hundantly by Jefus Chrijl our Lord. — Things carefully laid 
Tip are precious : fo grace hath the richefl cabinet in the 
•world : in the breaft of God lies the original copy ; the 
counterpart in the breaft of his ele6l ones. — Things which 
perifli not are precious ; and if fo, grace is precious : For 
his grace faileth never, — In a word, the grace of God is 
tranfcendantly excellent. Gold is precious ; but grace is 
more precious than all the gold of Ophir : It cannot be got^ 
ten for gold ^ neither fh all Jdver be weighed for the price thereof 
Gold, iilver, fapph^'res, diamonds, and rubies, are not 
worth the mentionino; belides the Sfrace of God. 

2. Riches of grace in God imports the hiddennefs of God's 

grace: hence, in fcripture, riches are called hidden trea^ 

fures ; Ifa. xlv. 3 . / will give thee the treafures of darknefs^ 

and hidden riches of fecret places : fo the grace of God is 

hidden and unfearchable. Therefore is that wordy hou 

in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Chris¥. ioi 

frrent is the (roodnefs thou hafl laid up for them that fear thee! 
It is hidden from the gracelefs world altogether, though 
it appears in its effects ; For the natural man ferceiveth not 
the things of God : and they are hidden from the godly and 
gracious in a great meafure ; Such knowledge is too wonder* 
ful for them. The apoftle calls it a depth, and falls a won- 
dering at it; llom. xi. 33. O the depth of the riches both 
of the wifdom and knowledge of God! how unfe arch able are his 
judq^msnts^ and his ways f aft finding out? The fcripture in it- 
felf cannot contain the riches of God's grace : hence there 
arc bleflings of grace written and unwritten ; thus in 
Deuteronomy, chapter xxviii. after enumerating many 
bleffings, it is faid, T^he Lord fhall open unto thee his trea- 
fire : there is a treafure of grace laid up in the heart, the 
I Chrift, and the heaven of God, to be broken up at the 
lail day, which we know not off; and what is the reafon ? 
bccaufe God flieweth mercy according to his own heart. 
Now, if a king give, he will give as a king, according to 
his riches: fo does God. We read, i Kings x. 13. That 
Solcmcn ^ave the queen of Sheha all her deftre^ whatever fhe 
afkecU bcfdes that which he gave her of his royal bounty : fo 
will God do ; Open thy ??iouth wide, and I will fill it, Alk 
of God what riches of grace thou wilt, he will give thee 
all thy delire ; and after all, he has fomething to give of 
his royal bounty : he hath hidden treafures of grace lying 
by him to bellow according to his ow^n greatnefs. 

3. It imports tliQ profit abienefs oi God's grace: riches, you 
iknow, are beneficial things; fo beneficial, that the Spirit 
[of God fays. Money anfwers all things : juft fo, the grace 
of God is profitable to all things, both in this life, and that 
which is to come. The grace of God is the moft profitable 
thing ever the world faw: if there be any profit, benefit, 
or advantage in falvation, which imports a flate of blifs, 
wherem all mercies eminently meet, call up the particular 
fums of all the good things promifed in the covenant, and 
the total, which they amount to, is falvation. Well, if 

I03 The Riches o/" Grace difplayed^ 

there be any advantage in falvation, grace is advantageous; 
for falvation, in all the parts of it, is of grace : By grace ye 
are faved. Take the whole chain of falvation, and all the 
links of it, as the apoftle names them, Rom. viii. 30. are 
of grace : We are chofen by grace ; fo the eleft are faid to 
be « remnant according to the eledioji of grace, — We were 
given to Chrift by grace ; Thine they were^ and thou gaveft 
them me. — We are redeemed by grace in him ; by grace 
we are juftified through that redemption: Being freely juf- 
tified by his grace* — By the fame grace we are converted ; 
It f leafed God to feparate me from my mother'' s wo?nb^ and call 
me by his grace. — By the fame grace we are adopted ; To as 
many as received hinij to them gave he power to become the 
fons of God, — By the fame grace we are fancliiied ; By the 
nvhich will we are fandifed, — And by the fame grace we 
fliall be glorified ; heirs of the grace of life. Let believers 
be what they will, it is of grace ; By the grace of God, I 
am what I am : take me with all my praying, (as if Paul 
had faid) and all my praifings, and all my fufferings ; all 
that I am, and fhall be is of grace : / laboured more abund- 
antly than they all, yet not /, but the grace of God in me. 

They that do not claim all the bleilings of the covenant, 
and hold them by the tenor of grace, they will never get 
them ; at prefent they have no lot nor portion in this mat- 
ter; and if ever they get them, they will be of another 
mind: they will look for the mercy of our Lord Jefus 
Chrift unto eternal life. 

4. The riches of grace imports a fulnefs and an abund- 
■ance of grace in God, even to a flowing over. Any per- 
fon that is faid to be rich in any thing, hath an abundance 
of it ; or elfe he cannot be faid to be rich : 'Now, ye art\ 
full, faith the apoftle, and ye are rich. If there be not \ 
fulnefs, there is not riches : thou that art abundant ir\ 
ireafures, faith God to Babylon. A man is then faid to b(j 
rich, when lie is abundant in treafures to an overplus | 
K0W5 our Lord hath grace in him to abundance, i Tioi 

in God's Klndnefs to Sinners in Christ. loj 

i, 14. The grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant : it was 
over-full, it was full to a flowing over. If there be more 
grace in God than there is iin in man, every one who 
have feen themfelves will own that he has abundance of it ; 
but fo it is : and hence is that word, Where fin abounded, 
grace did much more abound. Our ephah is full, brim -full ; f 
but God's grace is full to a running over : the grace of God ' 
is a treafure, and cannot be fpent ; an ocean, ever full and 
ever flowing. There cannot be fo much iin, but there is 
more grace : and therefore, the apoftle fpeaks indetermi- 
nately whefi he is to fpeak of the abundance of grace ; Grace 
did much more abound : but how much, he does not pretend 
to tell ; it did infinitely overflow. 

- 5. The riches of grace imports the inexhaujllblenefs of 

God's grace. We read in Ifaiah ii. 7 . of treafure that had 

no end : fuch is the grace of God in Chrifl: ; it hath no 

end, no bottom : therefore he forgives great fms, and 

continues to do it ; Forgiving iriiqu'ity^ tranfgrejfton^ andfin* 

' How oft, faith Peter, fliall my brother iin againft me, 

* and I forgive him?' T'^SS. feven times: what fays Chrifl? 

{Forgive him not till feven times^ but till f event y times fevm* 

\Vhen God fpeaks of vengeance, he fays, vmtil feven times; 

'\Cain fJmll be aveng^ed feven fold : but when he fpeaks of for- 

givenefs, he fays, until fcventy times feven. So that tho* 

|his vengeance be till feven times, his grace and mercy arr 

|to feventy times feven : He gives all things richly to- enjoy. 

His mercy and grace are from everlaPcing, and they will 

continue to everlafiing : they are a treafure that can ircvei 

be fpent, never be exhaufted to eternity; Ifa. Ixiv. 5. In 

thy mercy is continuance. If God will but continue to be 

merciful and gracious to me, fays the poor foul, I have 

enough : why, faith he ; In his mercy is continuance^ and ivi 

Ihall be faved. He will flretch them out to eternity, to 

cverlafting ; and if one everlafting be not enough, he -will 

add a fecond, Pfal. ciii. 17. The mercy of the Lord is from 

^verlafting to everlafiing ti^an them that fear him. 

I04 The Riches g/' Grace dlfplaycd^ 

We might have illuftrated the expreffion, the riches of 
grace, from the fleafantnefs and the great variety of grace 
in God. There is an inconceivable variety of all kinds 
of grace in him : hence he is ftiled the God of all grace ; 
and we read of the manifold grace of God ^ and of his being 
exceeding abundant therein. There is not only electing, 
redeeming, juflifying, adopting, and fanclifying grace in 
God ; but alfo reviving, ftrengthening, comforting, efta- 
blifhing, directing, fupplying, and protecting grace in him. 
But we proceed, 

idly. To enquire what i?/* grace is the riches of it? And 
in general, all the excellencies, properties, and qualities of 
grace, are the riches of grace. But more particularly, 

I. The royal majejly of grace is the riches of it: hence 
we read of the throne of grace ; Let us come boldly to the 
throne of grace* A throne, you knov/, is a fign of majefty, 
peculiar to fovereigns ; and fo grace is a majeftic fovereign: 
fo it is faid to acl the king ; Grace reigns through righteouf 
nefs. Let no man imagine that the glory of God is any 
way leffened by his fitting upon a throne of grace ; or that 
lefs reverence is due to him upon a throne of grace, than up- 
on a throne of judgment : for the glory and majefty of God 
are as much manifefted upon the one as upon the other. 
God's condefcending to difplay, and difpcnfe his grace to 
gracelefs finners, is no dcbafing of the divine majcrty, but 
an advancing of his glory : when he gives grace he acls 
royally, and as a crowned head with majefty. It is faid 
of Araunah's offering to David, That he gave like a king. 
So the God of grace difpenfes all acts of grace with great 
majefly, as a king, yea, as a God: and hence when Mofes 
prayed, / befeech thee fJoew me thy glory : God's anfwer v/as, 
/ will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, God's majefly 
and glory Ihine illuflrioufly in the fovereign difpenfation 
of his grace to men, in Chrift Jefus: and happy is that 
foul that adores this glorious fovereignty, as the apoftle 
doth^ Jiom. ix. i8, Therefore bath he mercy on whom he will 

in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ. loj 

hdve mercy; and whom he will^ he hardeneth. Approaches 
to God on a throne of s^race fliould be manasred with the 
profoundell reverence ; for it is a glorious and high throne. 
This is one thing in grace he wanted to manifeft. 

2. The freedom of grace is the riches of it. Freedom 
is the very nature of grace ; it is a gift : hence we read o£ 
the gift of grace. And what is more free than a gift? It 
is free, for it was unfought ; nothing cried for grace andt 
mercy but our own gracelefsnefs and mifery. — It is free, 
for it was unforced : grace, and all the fruits thereof, be- 
ing in the keeping of fovereign will and pleafure, accord- 
ing to that forecited text, / will be gracious to whom I wilt 
be gracious, — It is free, becaufe it is unmerited; there be- 
ing nothing deiirable, nothing promifing in the perfons whci 
are receivers of grace. There was enough in them tomovehirrx' 
to condemn and punifli them with everlafling deftr ucf ion front 
his prefence ; but nothing to move him to be gracious ta 
them ; being in their blood, there was nothing lovely,^* 
but every thing unlovely in them : but as the fun lliinesc 
freely on the dunghill, as well as on the bed of rofes ; fok 
God's grace fhines freely on iinners : and here is the riches,' 
the excellency, and fuper-excellency of grace. Grace is; 
moil: rich when it is moft free : grace is moft grace when: 
it is moft gratuitous, as is plain to any that underftand' 
%vhat grace is; for it is a thing that runs freely n no firt 
or unworthinefs can Hop the current of it. It is a great 
depth ; and though there be a mountain of fm, it caa 
cover and overflow it. A mountain of lin can no mors 
hinder the overflows of grrice, than a rock can hinder the 
flowing of the fea. This is good encouragement to finners: 
" Lord, may they fay, we have nothing to engage thee to 
be gracious to us; but free grace cln move itfelf: there 
is enough to move it in its own bowels. If fin and unvv^or- 
thinefs may exclude from grace, we may lie down in for- 
row and defpair for ever : but it is the glory of grace to 
run freely, to flow out upon thofe that are moft unwor- 


io6 The Riches o/Grkce dlfplayed^ 

thy ; and therefore, God he mercifid to tis ftnners ; glorify 
grace on fuch objecls as we are." — So this is another thing 
in grace that he defigned to manifeft. 

3. Th.Q fiver eignty of grace is the riches of it. It is not 
only the nature and genius of grace to be free, but to be 
fovereignly free : and the fovereign freedom of grace has 
appeared eminently in two inflances ; in pitching upon fal- 
len man, and not upon fallen angels ; and in pitching upon 
fome men, and not upon all men. — The fovereignty of 
grace eminently appeared, in pitching on fallen men^ and 
not onfcdlen angels. They wxre objects equally mifer able 
with fallen men ; vet there was no sfi^ace for them. When 
the angels fell, the Father's bowels were Ihut up, and not 
one thought of grace and mercy rofe up in his heart to- 
wards them : the Son's lips, which drop fweet fmelling 
myrrh to men, never let a fyllable of comfort fall to them : 
the Holy GhoU w^ould not exert his almighty power to re- 
cover their original rectitude ; but down they muft go in- 
to the prifon of darknefs, which eternally fhuts out every 
glimpfe of mercy and grace. But when man fell, the 
whole Trinity feemed to be moved at it : the bowels of the 
Father yearned over him ; and, as not content with in- 
ward compailion, all this breaks out at the lips of the 
Son ; To you^ men I call^ and my voice is to the fins of men, 
And becaufe words could not do it, he lays hold of the hu- 
man nature, and bleeds, and dies in it for their redemp- 
tion : and in confequence thereof, out comes the Holy 
Ghoft to make fure w^ork in an a.pplicati6n of falvation un- 
to us; He is fJjedon us abundantly, — The fovereignty of 
grace appears likewife in pitching on fime and not on all 
men; as upon Abel, and not upon Cain; on Jacob, and 
not on Efau ; on Peter, and not on Judas : the veffels of 
honour and the vefTcls of diHionour, are both made of the 
fame iinfui lamp; which is a myftery that muft be refolv- 
ed into the fovereign plcafure of the God of grace, as the 
apoftle does it, Rom. ix. 21. Hath not the potter pi^ser 

in God's Kindnefs to Sinners m Christ. 107 

ever the clay^ of the fame lump to make one veffel to honour^ and 
another to difhonourf I know tliis may be, and is abufed by 
pride, profanenels, and unbelief; and fo may the whole 
difpenfation of grace: but it is the riches, the glory of 
grace ; and in its proper place and ufe, it hath a fignal in- 
fluence unto the glory of God, and confolation of the louls- 
of men. — This is the riches of grace which God dciigned 
to manifcft. 

4. The w'lfdom of grace is alfo the riches of it. Upon 
the fall of man, had it been referred to a confutation of 
all intelligent beings, angels and men, how he was to be 
brought from the depth of mifery, to the height of happi- 
nefs, it would have bewildered and plunged their thoughts 
to all eternity : and aftef confulting millions of years, they 
would have returned anfwer, they could think of no way 
of efcape. But grace interpofed, and propounded Chrift 
to be God and man in one perfon ; and that he fliould 
bring God and men together in his perfon, and juftice 
and mercy together by his blood and fatisfaciion. O the 
ftrangenefs and wonderfulnefs of this contrivance of grace, 
or of wifdom acting in a w^ay of grace I Withoui controverfy 
great is the myflery of godlinefs. Things of fuch a feeming 
contradicllon meet here, as the wits of men know not how 
to reconcile; and that in every part of the plan of grace: 
— as in election, that God at once loved the fmner with an 
everlafling and unchangeable love, and yet a child of v.rath. 
— In the work of redemption ; that free grace, rich mercy, 
and fiilleft fatisfaciion fhould meet too-cther: For truth 
hath met i.vith inercy. — In tlie Vv^ork of juftiScation ; that 
one wlio is ungodly fliould be judiried, and one in whom 
God works inherent ria-hteoufncfs, fliould luand righteous 
before God's tribunal; not in it, but in the rip'i:teou(hefs 
of another. — In fanctilication ; how cfTeCLual callinp-, and 
infallible converlion ilioiild iland v/ith the freedom of man's 

will. All thefe arc mvfterics of crracc, v/hich God hatli 

revealed and made up on purpofc to difplay the v/Ucjom oi 


TioB The Riches 5/^ Grace difplayed, 

grace; to make perfons his own, and befool the world: 
this is the riches of grace. The wifdom of the God of all 
grace is a myftery. 

5 . The power of grace is the riches of it. The power 
of grace was difplayed in the plan of grace, as well as in 
the wifdom of grace. As it could not be contrived but 
3by the infinite wifdom of grace, fo it could not be accom- 
pliflied but by the infinite power of grace. O the power of 
;grace in the perfon of the Redeemer, in the publication of 
ihe dodtrine of redemption, and in the application of re- 
demption to finners! In the perfon of the Redeemer, in 
3iis conception by the Holy Ghoil in the womb of a virgin ! 
Xuke i. 35. The Holy Ghofl /hall come upon thee^ and the 
piower of the Highejl Jhall overjhadow thee. By the ordinary 
laws and courfe of nature, a virgin could not bear a fon ; 
yea, nothing but fupernatural and almighty grace could 
effectuate fo holy and perfect a conjunclion, as is in the 
conflitution of his perfon as God-man. What a wonder of 
rpower is it that two natures, infinitely diftant, fliould be 
more intimately united than any thing in the world ! That 
J:he fame perfon fhpuld have both an infinite joy, and in- 
ipxprcilible grief; infinite joy in his divinity, and inex- 
preiTible grief in his humanity ! That a God on the throne, 
ihould become an infant in the mans^er ; the thundering 
iCre^tor, a weeping babe, and a fuffering man ! Thefe are 
fuch expx'efiions of the power of grace, that they aftonifia 
anen on earth, and angeb in heaven ; and will do fo for ever. 
—In the dodrine oF redemption ; the doctrine of grace 
vanquifhed the obRinacy of the Jews, baffled the wifdom 
of the Gentiles, threw the devil not only out of bodies, 
but' put of hearts ; tore up the foundation of his kingdom, 
and planted the crpfs where the devil had for ages eftab- 
liihed his ftandard. — In tht application of redemption, which 
tears fame proportion to the power that raifed Chriil froni 
^he. dead; Eph. i. 19. And what is the e:cceeding greatnefs 
cf his power to us-ward who believe^ according to the work- 


in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ. 109 

irig of his 7nighty power ^ which he wrought in Chrijl when he 
raifed him from the dead* To demoliih the ftruclurc of fin, 
and let up the ftruclure of grace, is a miraculous evidence 
of the power of grace : it is a greater evidence of power, 
than the creation of the world. In creation, nothing was / 
changed into fomething ; but in converfion, hell is trans- 
formed into heaven, which is more than the turning no- 
tjiing into a glorious angel. 

6 . The jttfiice of grace is the riches of it : only when I 
fay, that the juftice of grace is the riches of it, I do not 
mean, that God's difpenfing of grace is an act ofjuftice; 
but only that God's difpenfation of grace, is very conlift- 
ent with the honour of juflice: For jufiice and judgment are 
the habitation of his throne. Whatever juftice did demand, 
or could demand, was yielded by the Surety. — Did juftice 
require that the Surety fhould be of one common nature 
with the fmner ? This is done in our Lord ; For the Word 
fwas made flefh, — Did juftice require that the law fliould 
get a finlefs fubjecl to obey it, as it was firft given to iin- 
lefs Adam? It got that in Chrift; Lo^ I come^ fays our 
Lord, without all fm ; a fabjecl againft whom, on a perfo- 
nal account, the law had no challenge, nor could have any; 
he being holy^ hannkfs, undefded^ and fepar ate from fmner s^ 
— Did juftice require that the honour of the law iliould be 
regained, by a perfect ftnlefs obedience? This was done by 
the Surety ; for he fulfilled all right eoufnefs^ magnified the 
law^ and. made it honourable* — Did it require life and blood 
for every breach of the law ? It got it in Chrift ; for he 
was made a curfe for us^ that he might redeem us from the 
curfe of the law. — Did juftice demand that the head of the 
old ferpent jQiduld be bruifed ; and that vengeance fhould 
be executed upon the grand enemy of God's glory, and 
man's happinefs ? This is done in our Lord Jcfas ; for he 
fpoiled principalities and powers. — Did it require that the 
works of the devil fhould be condemned, and deftroyed ? 


This is done \ for he condemned fin in the flefh ^ that the righr 

no The Riches o/* Grace difplayed^ 

teoufnefs of the law might he fulfilled in us. So that grace is. 
vented in a full conliftency with j uftice. The riches of grace 
are twifted with the terrors of wrath ; the bowels of mercy- 
are wrapt about the flaming fword of juftice, and the 
fword of juftice protects the bowels of mercy : Mercy and 
truth are met together ; righteoufnefs and feace have k'lffed each 

7. The coftlinefs of grace is the riches of it. . When A- 
raunah offered to David room for an altar, oxen and fheep 
to facrifice for nothing, David cries out, ISlay^ hut I will 

furely buy it of thee at a -price; neither will I offer burnt-offer^ 
ings to the Lord my God, of that which cojl me nothing* He 
fpoke thus becaufe he knew it would be more acceptable to 
God to make it a free-w^ill offering; not to offer that which 
was given him, but what he paid for. So it is with God 
here : faith God with himfelf, " I could have given heaven 
to thefe men without any coft, but I will be at cofl ; I 
will not fhew favour to them out of that which coft me 
nothing : I will give my Son to death for them ; and all 
to fhew forth more grace." As when he would humble 
the creature, he would not only have them creatures, but 
he would permit them to be finners ; he would have them 
laid as low as hell : fo when he would advance grace, he 
would not fhew favour immediately ; this would not exalt 
grace enough : it muft have a deeper dye. It was too fmall 
a matter for him, to give grace and glory to us, as he did 
to angels ; he muft be at coft to purchafe it at the higheft 
rate, the blood of his Son : God fo loved the world, that he 
^ave his only begotten Son. — The death of Chrift is fofar from 
derogating from grace, that here comes in the exceeding 
riches of grace. 

8. Tht fur enefs of grace is the riches of it. Rom. iv. 
16, Therefore It Is of faith, that It might be of grace, to the 
end the frcmifes anight he fare to all the feed. What makes 
our faivation fure to us ? It is becaufe it is by grace ; By 
grace ye are faved through faith* What reafon have we to 

in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ. i u 

difcard that opinion which lays the ftrcfs of our falvatioii 
upon the free will of man, when we have the free grace 
of God to build it upon, and which enticeth us to forfake a 
living fountain, and reft on a broken ciftern? The grace 
of God is little beholden to that doctrine, which would give 
its glory to a gracelefs thing, free-will : and as little rea- 
fon have the fouls of men to thank it, for it feeds them 
with dreams, and fancies, which will leave them hardly 
beftead and hungry at laft. 

9. The largenefs of grace is the liches of it. Waters 

do not fo abound in the ocean, nor light in the fun, as 

grace and compalTion do in the bowels of God towards 

fmners. Rom. v. 20. When fin abounded^ it overflowed 

all bounds, it rofe quite above its higheft water-mark. 

Sin is a great depth ; it is out of meafure finful *, and fo 

we will find it, if we found it to the bottom : and fo the 

devils and damned fpiritsin hell fhall find it, whilft they are 

ftudying their finfulnefs there to eternity, and can never 

fathom it. But the grace of God is a greater depth; 

God's free love and grace, is a depth which fwallows up 

this of fin, more than the heavens do the earth: Let the 

'■jui eked forfake his ^luay^ and the unrighteous man his thoughts ; 

and let him return unto the Lord^ and he will have mercy up-' 

071 him^ and to our God^ for he will aburidantly pardon : for 

as the heavens are higher than the earthy fo are my ways 

higher than your ways^ and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

It has a breadth, a height, a depth, and length in it, which 

pafieth knowledge; Eph. iii. 18. That ye may be able ta 

comprehend with all faints^ what is the breadth^ and lengthy 

and depths and height ^ and to know the love of Chrift which 

paffeth knowledge. This place of fcripture compares love and 

grace to a mighty fea, fo deep that it wants a bottom ; fo 

deep, as tho' the thoughts of men and angels fhall be diving 

into it through eternity, they Ihali not reach the ground: 

fo long and fo broad alfo, that it knows no fhore ; fo that 

tho' they fliall be failing over it with that fraali compafs of 


112 The Riches of Gkkce difplayed^ 

their capacities for ever, yet they fhall never come to land : 
it pafleth knowledge, and fo may be ftiil fearched further 
into with pleafure. 

10. The liberality of grace is the riches of it. Grace is 
not a fountain fealed, or a fpring fliut up ; but a well of 
living waters, communicative of itfelf: and the liberahty 
of grace is feen both in giving, and forgiving. — In forgiv' 
ing; fo the God of grace is faid to be the Lord^ merciful and 
gracious^ forgiving iniquity. He is not content with faying, 
Forgiving iniquity ; but he adds, tranfgrejfion and fin ; to 
affure us of the largenefs and fulnefs of pardon : yea, to 
fliew the liberality of grace in forgiving. God in his pro- 
vidence fuffers fome of his people to fall into all forts of 
fin, excepting the fin againft the Holy Ghofi: : hence is 
that word, Matth. xii. 31. All manner of fin and hlafphemy 
Jhall he forgiven unto men ; hut the hlaffhemy againfl the Holy 
Ghofl fhall not ht forgiven unto men. He faith not it may be 
forgiven ; but it fhall be forgiven : which could not be if 
they were not left to fall into all fins. — The liberality of 
grace is fliown alfo in giving^ 1 Tim. vi. 17. — The living 
God who giveth us richly all things to en'ioy. It is faid of the 
liberal man, that \it devifeth liberal things ; much more 
will a liberal God devife liberal things : he had a Son, and 
he devifed to give him ; hoiv fhall he not with him alfo free- 
ly give us all things f He hath a Spirit, and he pours him 
forth richly ; fhed on us abundantly. He hath a heaven, 
and he will befi:ow it: Gcd the Lord is a fun and flneld^ he 
will give grace and glory, 

Laftly^ The duration of grace is the riches of it. It is- 
lafl:ing, yea, eternal: His mercy endureth for ever; his grace 
faileth never. We w^afte by giving ; but God*s grace is 1 
not fpent or diminiflied, by all he hath communicated to 
gracelefs creatures : it reacheth from eternity paft, to e- 
ternity to come ; 'The mercy of the Lord is from everlafting td^\ 
cverlafting upon them that fear him. As it was extended'; 
from everlafting in the gracious pyrpofe j fo it will be ex-j 


in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in CiiRrST, >l-2| 

tended to evciiafling, m gracious performance : much iS 
implied in the text, That in the ages to corne^ See. Thef 
jiches of grace are fo great as requires eternity to exiiauft t 
fo much riches as that though we iliall ever be fpending 
it, it will never be fpent. When you come to heaven^ 
believers, yea, while you are on earth, you may fay by 
faith. Soul take thine eafe, thou haft goods laid itp for man^ 
years : thou haft riches of grace laid up for ages of ages.^ 
which cannot be exhau-fted, fpend as fall: as you can. 

I might have mentioned other excellencies, which ar©^ 
juft the riches of grace : But I preceed, 

IV. To the fourth Head, which was to fpeak of God'si 
7nanifeflation of the riches of his grace. And on this we 
propofe only to mention fome inftances whereby God has 
iliown the exceeding riches of his grace. And, 

I . God has manifefted the riches of his- grace in admit-^' 
ting a Mediator^ when he might have exacted the debt from 
us in our own pcrfons ; and we being infolvent, he might 
have puniilied us with an everlafting damnation^ The 
£inclion of the law, you know, was, In the day thou eatefl 
thereof thou fJ:alt furely die ': but it was not the precife de- 
termination that the fmner fhould die in his own pei'fon 5 
for then God's faithfulnefs ihould have excluded a Surety r 
neither was it determined he fliould die in his Surety ; for 
then the threatening fliould originally have been a promife,' 
and a promife to fm, which the God of fpotlefs holinefs ne- 
ver made, nor can n>ake : only in general, the linner fhalE 
die, either in his own perfon, or in his Surety. Now,' 
thefe two interpretations lying before God, he interpreted 
his law, as one expreffes it^ " According to a merciful e- 
quity, the iinner fliall die in his Surety, when he might 
have interpreted it thus, The fmner Ihalldie in his own 
perfon." Was not this grace^ and riches of grace ^ for 
had he interpreted it, that the iinner Ihall die in his owa 
perfon, then we fliould have fallen an eternal€> 


114 The Riches o/' Grace dlfplayed, 

the hands of revenging wrath and jiiflice; whereas now 
he hath made us accepted in the Beloved, What but infi- 
nite love and grace could prevail with inexorable juftice 
fo far, (if I may ufe the expreffion) to difpenfe with the 
rigour of the law, as to admit of a Mediator, and a Sure- 
ty-right eoiifnefs in the room of hnners? I own, the fatis- 
fa^tion of Chrift had an infinite intriniic value in it ; but 
ftill God might have refufed it. As when Reuben offered 
Jacob his two fons, as a pledge for Benjamin, Jacob was 
at liberty either to take them or not. — In a word, though 
the fatisfaclion of Chrift derives not its acceptablenefs, yet 
it derives its aclual acceptation from the grace of God ; 
hence it is called the gift by grace which hath abounded to 
viajiy^ Rome v. 5. 

2. God has manifefted the riches, and the exceeding 
riches of his grace, not only in accepting^ but providing a 
Mediator. The reconciliation of God and man, in a way 
confiftent with God's honour, and man's happinefs, was 
too ftupenduous a work for the joint w411 and wifdom of 
creatures. As for man himfelf, he ftood trembling, and 
knew not which way to turn, thinking God would have 
fallen upon him prefently. As for fallen angels, they 
could not imagine any way for man's efcape, more than 
for their own : and befides, when they had tempted him 
to fin, and effected it, they imagined the gates of hell were 
fo ftrongly locked upon him, that no art could make a key 
to open them. But, perhaps, the unblemiflied wifdom of 
ftanding angels might have found out a way? no; they 
feem to have had no thoughts of it, till the revelation of 
it was made to the church, Eph. iii. i o. To the intent that 
now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might 
be made known^ by the churchy the manifold wifdom of God. 
Had it been obvious to their clear and comprehenfive rea- 
fon, they would never have ftood gazing on it with afto- 
nifhment, when it was revealed, as we read they did; 
Into which things the angels defire to look. But infinite wif- 


in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ. iij 

dom, a6hiated by the bowels of grace and mercy, contriv- 
ed a way to bring home God's baniihed, in a confiftency 
with juflice; grace cried out, Deliver from going down to the 
f'lt^ for I have found a ranfom, O how rich and wonder- 
fid was this grace of God, confidering he was the party 
offended, and able to have maintained a war againft us to 
long eternity ! We honour men that bring forth any rare 
invention ; how then fliould we honour God, for bringing 
this fmgular invention to light, and giving us the benefit 
of it freely ? It had been great grace, if God had delivered 
us upon our finding out our w^ay to him : but how much 
more when he hath found out a way himfelf ! When Da- 
rius faw how Daniel was enfnared by his decree, he was 
extremely troubled, and fet his heart on Daniel to deliver 
him, but could not ; he behoved to be cafi: to the lions : 
but when we had brought ourfelves into a fnare, and mull 
have been cait to the lions for ever, the Lord difcovered 
this rare invention, whereby we are delivered from the 
mouth of the roarinsf lion, who croeth about fceking- whora he 
may devour ; and from evcrlafling deilrucllon, — even Jcfus 
who hath delivered us from the wrath to come* 

3. Another manifeftation of the riches of God's grace, 
is, God made mamfcft in flefJj, The great God had done 
exceeding much for man, as he made him at firft ; for he 
put him into a good eftate, fiamped his image wpon him, 
and made him, above all the creatures, to be his favourite : 
but man fooliflily fell from God, and thereby loft all his 
happinefs. Well, what did God in fuch a cafe? did he let 
man alone? did he fliut up his bowels of mercy againft 
him, and fall upon him with his utmoft fury? no; 
he pitied him, found out a meet help, and fent his ov\^n 
Son in fielh to redore him: What the law cculd not do^ 
in that it was weak through the flejh^ God did^ by fcndinrr 
Lis Son, in the I'lkenefs of fiuful ficJJj ; and he, by a facrifice for 
fin, condemned fin in the fiefJj, And was not this riches of 

grace ? God's firft love and grace to man was iu making 

V 1 

Ji6 The Riches o/' Grace difplayed^ 

Jiim like himfelf ; but his fecond, and great love and grace, 
Was in making himfelf like man. And, what manner 
ef love and grace was this ! Here was the tender mercy of our 
God, the great manifcflation of his love, of his glorious 
grace, and the exceeding riches of his grace. Did ever 
Ood give the worid fuch a demonftration of his iove and 
grace, as here, in the incarnation of his Son ? There is a 
m^hai manner of love put upon the fons of men, being made 
the fons of God ; but wliat manner of love and grace w^as 
?there in this, that the Son of God fhould be made the fon 
pf man, when man was at his worft, and fallen into dif- 
gracel I Ihall only fay, that Chrift's afTuming human na- 
turty as it was a mailer-piece of wifdom, fo it was a mira- 
culous monument of free grace. Chrift wrought many 
aniraclcs in the days of his flefh ; but the greateft miracle 
of all was himfelf, and his affuming flefli: i Tim. iii. i6. 
'Without controverfy great is the myjlery of godlinefs^ God was 
TJtanifeJl in the fleflj. 

4. God has manifefted the riches of his grace, in his not 
fparing his Son in human nature^ but delivering him up to the 
death for us alL Not only has he difplayed the riches of 
3iis grace, in fending his Son in fieili ; but alfo in punifli- 
5ng him in flefh for our iniquities. It is true, his not 
fparing, but delivering him, is a demonftration of the fo- 
vereigiity, impartiality, and terriblenefs of God's juftice. 
puch was his hatred of fin, and his refpe6l to the honour 
lof his law, th^t the guilty fliall not, by any means, efcape 
Jiis aven8:ino' wrath: and if his own Son fliali inter- 
j)ofe in the iinners ftead, and become his Surety, God 
ivill fall upon him, and not fpare him ; Avjake^ fword^ 
figainft my fiepherd, agatnfl the man that is my fellow : but 
it was aifo a demonftration of the riches of his love and 
grace ^ X John iv. 10. Herein is love^ not that we kvedGod^ 
hut that h§, loved us, and fent his Son to be the propitiation 
for pur fins : herein is love ; here is a full, m xnifeft, and 
\^^ proof of love, in that he fent his Son. Had not Chrifi; 

in God's Kindnefs to Sinners m Christ. 117 

been a perlbn infinitely dear to God, the evidence had not 
been fo clear ; but that he ilioiild devote him to be facri- 
ficed, whom he io dearly loved, is the incomprehenfible- 
nefs of love and grace. Some fay of the Phoenicians, that 
in their facrifices, they did not ufe to facrifice an enemy, 
or a ftranger, but one they had a fpecial love for: this 
God did here, and fo commended his love; God fo loved 
the world, that he gave his only begotten • Son. How did he 
love it? he fo loved it, that htfeemedy for a time, not to 
love his Son in comparifon of it ; for it pleafed the Lord 
to bruife him, when the world's need required it : he fpar- 
ed not him, that he might fpare us; refufed not to ftrike 
him, that he might be well-pleafed with us: he drenched 
his fword in the blood of his Son, that it might not be for 
ever tinged with ours, but that his grace might for ever 
triumph in our falvation ; and that in the ages to come^ he 
viight Jljeio the exceeding riches of his grace. 

5. God has manifefted the riches of his grace in giving 
Chri/l, and all things ivith him, by way of grant and offer 
in the word of grace. As he fhewed the riches of his grace, 
in giving his Son as a Surety for fome of the human race; ^ 
io he has fliewed it ia giving him as an oilicial Saviour to 
the w^hole of the human race without exception : / have 
given him to be a. light to the Gentiles, and to be my falvation 
to the ends of the earth. The God of grace, moved by no- 
thing but the fupcrabundant riches of his grace, hath made 
a gift, grant, and offer of his Chrift, and with him all tlic 
bleilings of his purchafe, to mankind iinners indefinitely, 
without the leaft reftriclion or exception, holdmg him forth 
to them, be they elecl or reprobate, whatever qualiiication 
they want, or have, according to that frequently forecited 
text, God fo loved the world, that he gave bis only begotten 
Son, that whofoever believeth on him fJjould not teriO:), but have 
eternal lif^. He doth not delay the exhibition of liis Son 
to fmners, till they confent to take him ; but he holds him 
forth in the v/ord of grace, and bids you take him : / hai 


ii8 The Riches o/* Grace difplayedy 

prepared my dinner^ my oxen and my fallings are killed ; all 
things are ready* Whatever is neceffary for their juftificati- 
on, fandlification, and complete falvation, is provided ; let 
them therefore come as to a marriage feaft, and freely en- 
joy my munificence, and feaft their fouls with the royal 
provifion : Ho ! every one that thirjleth^ come ye to the waters. 
And what is the grand end and defign of thft ? It is that 
in the ages to come^ he might Jhew the exceeding riches of his 
grace. And it fhews it to purpofe : for, how foon would 
the treafures of all the crowned heads in the world be emp- 
tied, if they kept open doors, and open treafures for all 
comers, and made every one welcome to come and take 
whatever they pleafed ; as our Lord does in that word. 
Ho every one that thirjleth f Whofoever will let htm come. He 
may partake of fpiritual and eternal blellings, as freely as 
he drinks of the running ftream. O what a difplay is this 
of the riches of grace ! T^he grace of God^ fays the apoftle, 
which brings fahatioj2^ hath appeared to all men, 

6. He has manifefted the riches of liis grace in appoint- 
ing /^/V/j to be the mean whereby we accept of this grace, 
and 2ire intercfted in it, (as obferved in a former difcourfe 
on this fubjecl). As God fmgled out our Lord Jefus from 
all others to be the only Mediator betwixt God and man ; 
fo he hath fingled out faith, from among all the graces, to 
be the mean or inftrument of interefting us in Chrift, and 
all the blefiings of his purchafe ; which tends exceedingly 
to manifeft and exalt the riches of God's grace, in re- 
gard faith is a mere receiver : it doth not give any thing 
to God, as charity and love do ; but receives all that fal- 
vation which grace would beftow upon it. The hands of 
all other graces are working hands ; but the hand of faith 
is merely a receiving hand: hence it is oppofed to works; 
No^iV^ to hi?n that worketh not^ but believeth on him that juf 
tifeth the ungodly^ his faith is accounted for right eoufnefs. It 
gives nothing, but receives every thing; it receives Chrift, 
it receives the atonement, it receives the gift of righteouf- 

in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ. 119 

nefs, it receives the fpirit of grace, it receives remiflion of 
lins ; but gives none of them. But he likewife difplays the 
riches of his grace, feeing it feeks all from free grace. As 
it brings nothing to it, fo it feeks every thing from it, 
faying, All my wants be upon thee : it will trade at no 
market, but that of free grace \ where buying is nothing 
but honeft begging, Buying without money and without 
price. It tends to difplay the riches of grace, feeing it will 
receive nothing, but as it lies in a word of grace: God 
bath fpoken in his hoHnefs, It illuftrates the riches of his 
grace likewife, as it will have no praife or glory to itfelf, 
but gives it all to grace. If God had ufed any other grace, 
as love, repentance, fome honour would have reflecled on 
them, and fo much would have been taken away from 
grace : but let faith do what it will, it flill comes in with 
a yet not I ; — / live by the faith of the Son of God, yet not I. 
Hereby he illuftrates the riches of his grace alfo, as of all 
other graces, faith is that which has the greateft tendency 
to difcover to a foul its own vilenefs and nothingnefs : and 
indeed, every thing it beholds in Chrift its object, has a 
tendency to abafe us in our own fight. — Do we by faith 
behold Chrift*s fulnefs ? this has a tendency to humble us 
under a fenfe of our own cmptinefs. — Do we by faith look 
on Chrift as the fountain of righteoufnefs and ftrength? 
this leads us to fee that in om^felves we have neither righ- 
teoufnefs nor ftrength. — In a word, as our Lord Jefus did 
fully glorify free grace, and ferved free grace in its own 
way ; fo faith is fuch a principle in the foul, as applies it- 
felf to glorify free grace, to its full fatisfaclion, and to 
detract nothing from it: It is of fait h, that it might be of 
grace » 

7. God manifefts the riches of his grace, in giving us 
his Spirit to work in us that faith whereby we receive 
Chrift, and all bleffings in him; agreeable to that word, 
I^STit. iii. 5. Not by works of righteoufnefs which we have done ; 
hut according to his mercy he faved us^ by the wafhing of re- 

I20 The Riches ^ Grace dlfplayedj 

generation^ and renewing of the Holy Ghoft, When the QsqA 
of grace deiigned the great and glorious work of our fal- 
vation, he appointed, in his infinite wifdom, two great 
means thereof; the one was the giving of his Son for them^ 
and the other w^as the giving of his Spirit to thern : and 
hereby way was made for the manifeftation of the glory of 
the whole Trinity, which is the utmoft end of all the 
works of God: hereby the love, grace, and wifdom of 
the Father, in the projection of the whole ; the love, 
grace, and wonderful condefcenfion of the Son, in 
the procurement of grace and filvation from fin \ and 
the love, grace, and power of the Holy Ghoft, in the 
effectual application of all to the fouls of men, were made 
glorioufly confpicuous. In the fulnefs of time, he gave 
his Son to procure falvation ; and in confequence thereof, 
he fends forth the Spirit of his Son, in due time, to apply 
it : he fends him not only in his graces, and comforts ; but 
in his perfon to inhabit them ; and he fends him in his 
perfon before he comes either in his graces, or comforts ; 
for our perfons are the temples of his perfon immediately, 
and his graces are the furniture he brings along with him, 
that he may dwell like him^felf : Te are built up an habita- 
tationfar God through the Spirit. This manifefts the riches 
of his grace ; yea, is fuch a manifeftation of it, that it has 
been difputed whether the Son given for us, or the Spirit 
given to us, be the greateft gift ? Whether God made 
ynanifejl in the flejh^ or the pouring out of the Spirit on 
allfiefhy be the greateft favour: both of them are divine 
perfons ; both of them come down from heaven ; both af 
them are effects of the fame love : the one fliewed his love 
in dying for us ; the other in dweUing in us : the one 
procured all good; the other effectuates all good. Be- 
lievers, you value the gifts, graces, and comforts of the 
Spirit, and fo you ought ; but ye fhould value the perform 
of the Spirit, who is the author, root, and fpring of all. 
When God gives you the fountain, he gives you tlie 

, in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ. 121 

flreams ; when he gives you the mine, he gives you the 

8. God manifefts the riches of his grace in hlejfing us^ 
and that with all fpiritual hlejjings in Chr'ifl Jefus^ as the 
apollle faith, Eph. i. 3. Bleffed he the God and Father of our 
Lord Jefiis Chr'ifl^ who hath blejfed us with all fpiritual hlef-^ 
fjjg^s in heavenly places J in Chrift, He is the bleffed God; 
and when he bleffes, he bleffes like himfelf, like a God ; 
he bleffes altogether; he bleffes with all bieffings. When 
Jacob bleffed his twelve fons, and in them their poflerity 
the twelve tribes, it is faid in the concliifion, Thefe are th& 
twelve tribes^ and every man according to his hleffing he blef^ 
fed them, Reuben got one bleffmg, Jofeph another, Judah 
another ; none of them got all. But when the God of grace 
Comes to open the riches and bleflings of grace in Chrift, hc 
bleffes with all fpiritual blcffings. Every child of his he bleffes 
■with the f ulnefs of the bieffings of the gofpel ; for they hang 
all together in a cluftcr : Whom he did predejlinate^ them he caU 
led ; whom he called^ them he alfo jiiftified ; and whom he juf^ 
tified^ them he alfo glorified, God himfelf hath all things, 
and every believer hath all things too; Rev. xxi. 7. Ho- 
that overcometh fJjall inherit all things^ and I will be his God<» 

V. The fifth Head of method was to fpeak of the feafo?2 
! of this manifeftation ; In the ages to come. And, 

I. By the ages to come may be meant, d\\ fucceeding ages 
to the end of the world ; and then the meaning is, that 
God had drawn the primitive Chriftians out of the finful 


and miferable condition they were in by nature, quicken- 
ed them together with Chrift, raifcd them up together 
with him, and fct them with him in heavenly places ; that 
they might be examples, holding forth thefe riches of grace 
Tod had begun to break up under the gofpel, and would 
iliew to after ages and fucceeding generations. The pri- 
mitiv^e Chriftians were patterns to us, in refpecl of their 
natural condition ; hence the apoftle favs of the EphefianSj 


122 The Riches ^ Grace difplayed^ 

that they were dead in trefpajfes and fins ; that they were 
flaves of Satan, and children of wrath by nature, as well 
as wc arc in after ages. And they were patterns of grace 
to us as well as of fm and mifery : he fiiewed this mercy 
and grace to them, that he might fliew forth in them, the 
riches of his grace to after generations. God poured 
forth abundantly the riches of his grace upon them, and 
fet them up as lights to after ages ; i TheiT. i. 7 . Ton were 
exainples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia, Nay, 
God did not only intend them as bare examples, or pat- 
terns, but as pawns and pledges, that he would go on as 
he had begun, in after ages to pour forth the riches of his 
grace: thus Paul's converfion was not only an example, 
but it was a pawn and pledge of the converfion of other 
great finners ; i Tim. i. 16. Howbeit for this caife I obtain- 
ed mercy ^ that in me firfl Jefus Chrift might Jhew forth all 
longfuffering^ for a pattern to them who fhould hereafter be'^ 
fieve on hi?n to life everlajling. And fo was the converfion 
of the Ephefians ; That in the ages to come^ &c. When God 
converted the primitive churches, he engaged himfelf to 
fliew like riches of grace, exceeding riches of grace, not 
to that age only, but to all ages to come ; and flill to the 
latter ages more grace. It not only holds forth what we 
may comfortably aik at God's hand, becaufe he hath fliewed 
the like mercy to others ; but it holds forth what we may 
confidently expect from him. There are promifes of grace, 
and there are patterns of grace ; and the patterns confirm 
the promifes, and fo are helps to our faith. That God 
hath riches of grace in his own nature ; this is one foun- 
dation of faith; that he hath made large and Ainiverfal 
promifes of grace, to finners indefinitely, and fo put thefe 
riches out of himfelf into promifes ; this is another ground 
of faith : and that he hath fliewn exceeding riches of grace 
to others, that were as bad as we, this is another ground of 
encouragement to faith. As examples ufe to confirm rules, 
fo examples of mercy confirm our faith in promifes of mercy; 

in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ, 123 

This is a faithful faying^ and worthy of all acceptation^ that Chrifl 
Jefus came into the ivorld to fave finners ; this is the rule : 
Of whom I am the chief; here is his example. — This is the 
meaning of the words, that his delign in ihewing fo much 
grace to the primitive Chriftians, was to ihew what a trea- 
iuiy of grace he had to bellow ou future ages to the end 
of the world: and w^hen all thefe ages fhall be run out, 
O what inlinite riches of grace will appear to have been 
in God, which flived men in all ages 1 When all the faints 
iliall meet together, and all the accounts fliall be given in, 
what a great expence will it be found God has laid out in 
their falvation ! 

2 . The ages to come may refpecl the ages of the other 
worlds or eternity; and then the meaning is, that wheit 
God fhall have ftiown the exceeding riches of his grace 
to fmners in all ages, in bringing them out of their natu- 
ral condition, in converting them, and quickening them . 
together with Chrifl, railing them up at the laft day, and 
srathering: them all to Chriil; all this intends, that to the 
ages of eternity he may fliew forth a hidden and unknown 
treafure of grace, which he will break up in heaven, and 
expend to eternity. There is an eternity to come, when 
this world ihall be at an end ; and that eternity will be 
fpent, in God's communicating, and our receiving riches 
of grace, and exceeding riches. God does much for his 
people here in a way of grace ; but he will do much more 
hereafter. Doth God, in this world, bring them out of 
their natural condition, quicken them together with Chriit, 
ralfe them with him, fet them down in heaven v/ith him, 
he having taken pofiefiion of that for them, which they 
fliall enjoy for ever? All this is but a foundation, that he 
may lliew forth the exccedincr riches of his i^race to eter- 
nity. If thefe be but the foundation, what will the fu- 
perib'ucture of grace be? If thefe be but the preparations, 
what fhall the full eiijoymcnt be? In this life, God pur- 
fucs his people with one loving-kindnefs after ariOther; 


i24 The Riches of Grace di/played, 

but when thefe ages are come, loving-kindnefs will over- 
whelm and fwallow them up. What is that which God 
%vill expend upon us in heaven ? he will expend on us the 
riches of his grace. Sirs, the exceeding riches of God's grace 
inufl be laid out in fome thing proportionable to itfelf. If 
a king fhould fay to a man who is faithful and wife. Go 
take all the riches of my kingdom, and expend them upon 
fuchan entertainment, the entertainment would befuitable 
to thefe riches ; fo when God fays to his loving-kindnefs. 
Go take all the treafures of my grace, and make entertain^ 
inent for finners of mankind to eternity, that entertainment 
jmuft bear proportion to the riches of God's grace. And, 

how great mull it be ! efpecially when it is to make a 
Ji^ow ; it is made on purpofe to fliew forth thefe riches. O 
iays a God of grace, I am refolved to fhow how great a God 

1 am, how gracious I am, how much I can love a creature; 
I am refolved to fhew the exceeding riches of my grace, in 
i^indnefs to eternity: and if fo, how kind muft he be! If 
^hafuerus, being a great king, will make a great feafl to 
ihew the inches of his kingdom, how great and magnificent 
fhall that feaft be ! So if God will make creatures happy, and 
undertake to do fo, in order to fliew forth the exceeding 
riches of his grace, how great muft the glory of heaven be ! 
and efpecially coniidering Loving-kindnefs is the fteward of 
all this grace. Grace is at the coft, and gives commiffion 
to Loving-kindnefs to fpare for nothing ; and confidering 
its end, if it be to fhew forth the exceeding riches of grace : 
grace will be fure to provide for its own glory, to fliew 
itfelf to the utmoft. If Grace fays to Loving-kindnefs, take 
the command of my treafure, and beftow it to eternity on 
iinners, Loving-kindnefs will think nothing too good for 
us to eternity : it will open all the coffers of grace, and 
thefe are fo full, that though we fliall be for ever fpend-^ 
ing, they fhall never be fpent : they will require an eter- 
^lity to manage them ; yea, through eternity they will be 
^s full as they were from eternity. 

in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ. 12^ 

VI. And, lajlly^ I now come to apply this doclrinCj in 
the following inferences. 

From this doctrine we may fee, which of the ferfedions 
of God has the higheft difplay in our Lord Jefus ; why, 
the apoftle only mentions this, 'That in the ages to come, he 
might (hew the exceeding riches of his Grace. He does not 
fay, that he might fliew the glory of his holinefs, jufticc, 
or power ; but the riches of his grace : he Ihewed thefe 
perfections elfewhere ; he fliewcd his power in making the 
world; his holinefs in giving the law; his juftice in fend- 
ing the rebel angels and wicked men to hell ; but his grace 
nowhere fo much as in his kindnefs in Chrift. It is ob- 
fervable, that when God would fhew his power, he makes 
a world ; when he would manifeft his juftice, he prepares 
a tophet ; when he would manifeft his wifdom, he finds 
out a Mediator ; but when he would proclaim his love and 
grace, he lays down his life. 

Here we may fee one difference betwixt the covenant of 
ivorks^ and the covenant of grace. The end of the covenant 
of. works, was to fliew man what he w^as to do towards 
God ; but the end of the covenant of grace, is to fliow 
what God is to do for man. There are many differences 
betwixt the two covenants. — They differ in their nature, 
the one being a covenant of friendiliip, the other a cove- 
nant of reconciliation ; — in their properties, the one being a 
temporary, the other an everlafting covenant ; — in their 
conditions, the condition of the one being the righteoufnefs 
of a mere creature, and that of the other, being the perfect 
righteoufnefs of God-man ; — in their fromifes, the promifes 
of the one being conditional, tliofe of the other being ab- 
folute ; — in their order of obedience, duty in the covenant 
of works being the foundation of privilege, whereas in 
the covenant of grace, privilege is the foundation of duty ; 
' — and they differ alfo in their end, the end of the cove- 
pant of works being to fliew what man was to do towards 
God, but the end of the covenant of srrace to flicw what 

126 The Riches o/* Grace difplayed^ 

'is in God towards men ; That in the ages to come^ he might 
Jhew the exceeding riches of his grace, God's higheft end is 
not fo much to get any thing from, as to fliew forth the 
riches of his grace towards you. It is good for us, that 
he hath made a manifeftation of that, which will commu- 
nicate all to us, the higheft end of our falvation, I mean, 
his grace. And, O what a pity is it that legality fliould 
attempt to fruftrate this end ! Hate legality ; it is a curfed 
evil, to mingle works with the riches and gracioufnefs of 
grace, that which of all things in God he delires to fliew 

Here fee the reafon why God permitted y?;^ to enter into 
the world, namely, That in the ages to conie^ he might Jljew 
the exceeding riches of his grace. God never willed fin by 
his command \ it was never produced by any word of his, 
as the creation was ; he never faid, let fin be under the 
heaven, as he faid, let waters be under the heaven: nor 
doth he will it, by infufing it, or ftirring up inclinations 
to it ; . for he tempts no man : nor doth he approve of it ; 
for it is the abominable thing which he hates ; but he willed 
to permit it, otherwife it had never been ; for he opens ^ and 
none can JImt; and he JJouts^ and none can open. And why did 
he permit it ? not for itfelf," but for a greater good, the 
manifeftation of his own glory, and particularly the gloiy 
of his grace ; for the reign of fin opened a door for the 
reign of grace: Rom. v. 21. That as fin hath reigned unto 
deaths even fo might grace reign through righteoiifnefs unto e- 
ternal life. Without the entrance of fin, the bowels of 
mercy had never founded, and the ravifhing mufick of 
grace, and riches of grace, had never been heard, by a crea- 
ture. Sin, in its nature, tended to the diflionour of God, 
and the ruin of the world : yet God takes occafion from it 
to glorify his grace in the redemption of the world. The 
angels fong of Glory to God in the higheft^ and good-will to 
men on earthy in a way of redemption, had never been fung 
had not fin entered. However, do not think there is any 

in God's Kindncfs to Sinners in Christ. 127 

good in fin ; if it do any good, it is only from infinite 
kindnefs, that can bring good out of evil, as well as light 
out of darknefs. 

Hence fee the reafon why God fuffers fome of his peo- 
ple to lie long in their graves of fin ; it is, that in the ages 
to come^ he may fhew the e^cceeding riches of his grace. He 
loved them with an everlafling love ! and one would think 
it ftrange, that he who has loved them fo long, fiiould 
leave them fo long to be as bad as any ; and yet he doth 
this, becaufe it makes for the praife of his grace. By \\\\% 
difpenfation he difplays the freedom of grace ; hence is 
that word, Ilom. iii. 23, 24. For all have finned^ and come 
fhort of the glory of God: being juflificd freely by his grace ; 
where you fee the freedom of grace in our juftiiication, is 
brought in on occafion of our having fmned. When he 
allows them to lie long in their finful eflate, and then wafhes^ 
juftifies, fanclifies, and faves them. It is obvious that 
grace makes all the difference: Who maksth thee to differ f 
Herein he fliews the power of his grace ; for the longer a 
faint has lien in fin, the greater power it requires to fave 
liim from it ; for cuflom in fin petrifies the heart and har*« 
dens the confcience; Caii the Ethiopian change his Jkln^ or 
the leopard his fpotsf And likewlfe to difplay the fulnefs of 
his grace ; for where a poor foul has gone long on,^. adding 
to the account of his fin, it requires a vaft riches of grace 
treafured up in the heart of God to difcharge the fame. 

Hence we may learn the great reafon why God allows fin 
to continue in his people to the day of their death ; it is, that 
in the ages to come^ he might (Jjeio the exceeding riches of his 
grace, Suppofe on the foul's firil clofing with Chriit, fin 
be call down in the hearts of the Lord's people, yet it is 
not caft out ; like Daniel's beafi:s, though its dominion be 
taken away, yet its life is prolonged for a feafon ; yea, it 
refides in the foul as long as the foul refides in the body, 
to the great grief and vexation of the Lord's people ; there- 
fore doth the apoftle cry out, zvrctched man that I am ! whs 

128 The Riches ^. Grace difphycd^ 

Jhall deliver me from this body of fin f And what is the rea- 
fon of this difpenfation r Various reafons have been aflign-" 
ed to it ; fuch as, that it is defigned to wean their hearts 
from the world, and make them long for heaven ; to make 
them more fenfible of their dependance on Chrift ; to hum- 
ble them ; to caufe them be more exercifed, both in prayer 
and praife ; and to make them more watchful : but the 
principal reafon is, to //:ew the exceeding riches ofgracj. The 
exaltation of grace is the great end and defign of the con- 
trivance of man's falvation ; and God's leaving fm to be, 
and to be active, in the fouls of believers, contributes more 
to the advancement of this defign, than making them fm- 
lefs immediately on their converfion w^ould do. The gra- 
dual expulfion of fin, tends more to exalt grace, than to 
expel it all at once ; for the more fms are pardoned to a 
believer, the more giace is exalted ; and in this way more 
fins are pardoned, than ptherwife would have been. The 
greater one's fins are, the more free grace is exalted in par- 
doning them; fo by this difpenfation, free grace hath the 
glory of pardoning more heinous fms, than thefe commit* 
ted in the unrcQ-enerate fiate ; for the fins of the o:odlv are 
moil provoking, as committed ag.unft a nearei' relation, 
againft greater helps and advantages, and againft greater 
obligations ; this ihould reconcile the Lord's people to this 
difpenfation, when they fee this way exalts grace more 
than the way they would be at : they iliould fay, He does 
all things ivelL 

Again, fee the reafon why God paiTes by the ?noft likely^ 
and pitches upon the mofi iniiikely^ to be the receptacles of 
his grace. The reafon hereof is juil that in the ages to 
come^ he might fJjeiv the exceeding riches of his grace. There 
is nothing more evident, than that he pitches upon the 
pooreft, the weakeft, the vileft, and moft worthlefs of the 
human race. Thus the gofpel was revealed favingly to the 
people who were fcorned by the proud Pharifees, and to 
thofe that knew not the law \ while thefe doctors of thei 

in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ, 1:20 

chair, were left in ignorance. Chrift vouchfafed an ef- 
ficacious fermon to the poor woman of Samaria, while 
Herod, who fwayed a fceptre, could get nothing from him* 
Pilate mift Chrift on the bench, while the poor thief found 
him on the crofs ; and heaven with him. Devout Pha- 
rifccs are palTcd by, and left to periili in their blind zeal, 
while Publicans and harlots are converted by him ; nay, 
it is ufually fo : i Cor. i. 26. Not ma?iy wife men after thd 
Jlefl? ; Jiot many mighty^ 7iot many noble are called: and why 
is it fo? juft to difplay the riches of grace 5 and it does \t 
to purpofe, as we may fee in Paul, / was a ferfecutor^ and 
a hlafphemer ; hut I obtained mercy : he puts- / and mercy to-* 
get her ; and who would ever have thought thefe two would 
have met, that were as diftant as hell and heaven ? Who 
would not, fays the apoftle, have made a hut of exception 
at me of all the men in the world ? Ananias made a demur 
about him \ Lord^ I have beard by many of this man, hoia 
much evil he hath clone to thy faints at Jerufalem: but grace 
and mercy made none ^ / obtained mercy. 

By this we may be informed, why it is that God makes 
his law enter the foul with its commands and curfe, whea 
he comes to deal with that foul : it is juft that he may fliew 
the eccceeding riches of his grace. He raifes the convictions 
and terrors of the law in the confcience, that his grace 
may afcend the throne in the finner's heart with the more 
magnificence, honour, andmajefty; Rom. v. 20. 'The laijj 
entered that the offence might abourui ; not in the life by com- 
miflion, but in the confcience by conviclion : and why for* 
That where fin abounded^ grace might much more abound. Of 
neceflity finners muft ihape their thoughts of grace, that 
takes away fm, fuitable to the thoughts they have of their 
fms: if they conceive the one to be little, they cannot 
think the other great ; but if they tremble at the greatnefs 
of their fins, they muft needs triumph at the tranfcendency 
of grace, which fo far exceeds their greatnefs. He that 
wonders at the height of thefe mountains, will much aiore 


130 The Riches c/ Grace difplayed, 

wonder, at the depth of thofe waters which fvvallow them 
up. When fin becomes exceeding finful, grace becomes 
exceeding glorious. 

Hence we may fee the fecurlty believers have againft 
falling from grace totally and finally. Why, it is the end 
and defign of God in all his kindnefs, to flicw the exceed- 
mg riches of his grace. It is a temptation wherewith the 
people of God are ufually haunted after communions, that 
they v/ill prove dreadful apoflates, magor-miffahihs ^ terrors 
round about: however, it is nothing but a temptation. 
Did God, believers, fhew grace to you in your firfl con- 
verfion, that ye might be to the praife of his glory ? fear 
not but he will continue his grace, for keeping you in time 
to come : he has done it in ages pail, and he has promifed 
to do it in ages to come, to the end of the world. God ' 
is as rich in grace as ever ; as the fun hath fliined thefe 
five thoufand years and upwards, and hath as much light in 
it now as ever ; fo hath God of grace and mercy in him . Can 
God fhew kindnefs to the world, that is evil and unthank- 
ful f he flill continues to fliew it forth age after age: and 
can he not fhew mercy to you, for your little fpace of time, 
having fhewed you fo much ah'eady ? The grace fliewed 
you at converfion, may help your faith exceedingly as to 
your prefervation ; yea, as to your glorification. Rom. v. 
10. If when we were ene?nies^ we were reconciled to God^ by the, 
death of his Son ; much more ^ being reconciled^ we Jhall be faxed 
i?y his life f Did grace take you at your firft converfion with 
all the faults that followed you ? certainly he will preferve 
you to his heavenly kingdom and glory. If it is eafier 
for your faith to argue from reconciliation to falvation, 
than from hoftility to pardon and peace, (the change from 
nature to grace, being gTcater than the change from grace 
to glory,) and if grace has done the greater, will he not 
do the lefTer ? Ye may therefore be confident of this, t{iat 
he who has be^un the good work will carry it on* 

Hereby we may be informed, what a vilo abufe it is of 

in Go d's Kindne/s to Sinners 2« Ch R i s t. 131 

the grace of God to take the more liberty in Jin, bccaufe 
grace abounds. It is the ultimate end oi God ; and will na 
cheaper fluff than the grace of God ferve to make a cloke 
for fin ? Rom. vi. 12. Sball ive continue in fin that grace may 
abound f God forbid. The corrupt heart of man is very- 
ready to draw fuch an inference from the doclrine of grace; 
but it is mofl unjufl, if we confider the difference betwixt 
a caufe and an occafion: if the abounding of fin helps to 
advance grace, it is not of itfelf, but by accident ; by God's 
over-ruling grace : therefore it is a defperate adventure, to 
drink rank poifon to try the goodnefs of an antidote ; or 
to wound ourfelves mortally, to try the virtue of a plaifler. 
There is a difference again betwixt the pardon of fins pafl, 
and the allowance of fins future : our fixed refolution fhould 
be not to fin ; but if we fin, we have the benefit of God's 
remedy ; i John ii. i . My little children^ thefe things write 
I unto you that ye fin not : and if any man fin^ we have an 
advocate with the Father^ J^f^^ Chrifl the righteous, — -In a 
word, we muil not fin that grace may abound ; but when 
we have finned, we are to make ufe of abounding grace : 
ye need not fear your fins though they are great, becaufe 
of the riches of grace. 

Hereby we may learn, that there is a direct contrariety 
bewixt the heart of God, and the heart of a finner. And 
the reafon is, God is for floewing., and the natural heart 
is for ?ivi?i{r. Our natural hearts are flill for o-ivino: fome- 
thing to God: nay, but fays God, my dcfign is not to get 
from you, but to ffiew what is in myfelf : I will give, and 
you fhall take. The legal heart is always for giving, but 
the believing heart is always for taking ; and that is God'j; 
order. There is, indeed, a connexion betwixt one blef- 
fing and another; as between jultification and faith, and 
heaven in the end : but this flows all from grace ; there- 
fore he is called, the God of all grace : for all is merely out 
of his grace. 

Hence fee, that God's o^oodnefs is a crowin(r croodaefs: 

11 s 

't%z The Riches o/Gkack di/played, 

why, it is to be Jhewed in the ages to come, God is the 
'fountain of ali good ; Every good and f erf ed gift cometh down 
from the Father of lights, God caufeth his goodnefs to flow 
forth: he is not only a fountain, but an open and over- 
flowing fountain ; Thou art good and doeft good. And 
Jiis goodnefs ever increafeth, and will increafe to eternity : 
it is like the waters that came down from the Lord's fanc- 
Stuary, which increafed from ancle deep, to knee deep ; 
from knee deep, to the middle of the body ; and from 
that to an impaflible river : / will do better things to you than 
fit your beginnings, God's goodnefs to the New-Teftament 
Church is greater than to the^^ld; God having provided 
for us better things : and his goodnefs to the Church tri- 
umphant, is alfo greater than to the Church militant : and 
why does it increafe? juft that the extent of his goodnefs 
jiiay be more diftinclly confidered, more clearly difcerned, 
^nd more univerfally admired; That in the ages to comey 
f)e might Jhew the exceeding riches of his grace. 

From this doclrine fee, that humility well becomes the 
5:ieople of God : why fo ? becaufe the end of all is to fhew 
the exceeding riches of grace. If thou be a velfel of gold, 
and thy brother a veiTel of wood, Be not high minded^ but 
fear ; it is God that maketh thee to difl'er : and the more 
bounty God fliews, the more humility he requires. Thefe 
mines that are richeft, are deepeft ; thefe ftars that are 
higheft, feem fmallefl ; the goodlieft buildings, have the 
loweil foundations; the more God honoureth men, the 
jnore they fhould humble themfelves ; the more the fruit, 
the lov/er the branch on which it grows, O how full was 
the apoftle Paul? yet how low was his language of himfelf f 
The leaJ}offaints ; lafl of apoftle s ; chief of finners ; ?ict fufficient 
to think one good thought : all that he is, is by grace ; By the 
grace of Gody I am zuhat I am. 

Hence we may fee a noble reafon for that great variety 
fp vifible in God's difpenfations towards his people, both 
|)f;fore and after converfioHj namely. That in the ages to 

in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ. 133 

£Dme^ he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace. • 

They are all by nature in the fame ftate of fin aud mifery 
with other men ; and their characters, in that fituation, 
however odious, are left upon the fcripture records, as ferv- 
ing to illullrate the glory of his grace in their falvation. 
1 he paffage before us is a proof of this ; A?nong whom (de- 
vMs and wicked men) we all had our converfation in times 
fajl^ in the lujls of our Jlejh^ fuljilling the deftres of the flejh 
and of the mind. And why does he mention thefe, but as 
a foil to fet off the beauty of mercy ? But God who is rich 
in mercy^for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when 
we were dead in fins ^ hath he quickejied us^ — that in the ages 

to come, he ini^'ht foew the exceeding riches of his grace, 

God commanded Joihua to take twelve Hones out of the 
midft of Jordan, and fet them up ; and what was the rea- 
fon \ why, that this may be a fign among you, that when 
your children fliall aik their fathers in time to come. What 
mean you by thefe Jlonesf then ye fJmll anfwer thetn. That the 
waters of Jordan were cut off from the ark cf the covenant of 
the Lord^ when it faffed over Jordan^ — and thefe fl ones fh all 
be a w.emorial for the children of Jfrael for ever : even fo, God 
liath, by his pardoning mercy, taken up fome great noto- 
rious fumers out of the very depth of fins, and fet them up 
in his word, that, to the end of the world, poor tempted 
fouls, when they fee what God has done for thefe, may 
hope he will do as much for them : no iins, tho' as great 
and many as the waters of Jordan themfelves, fliall be able 
to ftand before the grace of God, but fliall all be cut off, 
and everlaitingly pardoned. Thefe notorious fmners, whom 
grace hath waflied, fauclified, and faved, ferve a^ a land- 
mark, to fliev/ what large boundaries grace hath fet to it- 
felf, and how far it hath gone; even to inclofc thefe fin- 
ners who lay, as it were, at the very bottom of hell, in- 
gulphed in all manner of abominations. If tempted fouls 
were daily walking thro' this circuit, and reviewing where 
thc.utmofl ftonc of pardoning mercy is fet, they v/ould not 

134 ^^^ Riches ^ Grace dlfplayed^ 

j-uflle in the ftone to the prejudice of God, by their unbe- 
lief, as they do ; nay, fuppofe they found their fins greater 
than any on fcripture record, yet they are not fo great as 
the fins of all whom grace hath pardoned ; and grace can 
forgive their fins, tho' they were as great : it could for- 
give all thefe fins, if they were in one heap, juft as well as 
now when they are in feveral heaps ; Behold the Lamb of 
God^ which taketh away thefm of the world. 

From what has been advanced, we may fee the reafon 
why God permits fin to make fearfid irruptions^ at fome- 
times, in the lives of his own people ; it is, that in the 
ages to coine^ he might fhew the exceeding riches of his grace. 
Not only does God allow fin to rcfide in the fouls of his 
faints to their dying day, but to make great adual irrup- 
tions in their lives ; and not only in the loweft fize, or 
ordinary fort of believers, but in thefe of the highefl: : wit- 
nefs Noah's being left to the fin of drunkennefs, who was 
a preacher of righteoufnefs ; and whofe righteous foul was 
vexed with the evils of the old world : and David, a man 
after God's own Heart, being left to murder and unclean- 
nefs; with many other heroes in religioti. Now, why 
does God fuffer this? it is juft that in the ages to come^ he 
might Jhew the exceeding riches cf his grace : for fuch blots 
in the lives of the godly are blackeft ; and fo grace is the 
more exalted in removing them. The greateft revenue of 
praife is paid into the exchequer of grace from thefe who 
have great fins pardoned : he that hath talents forgiven, 
will love more than he that hath but pence : and where 
there is moft love, it is likely there will be moft praife. 

Here we may be taught the reafon why later converts^ 
fometimes outftrip earlier converts in grace and religion ; it 
is, that in the ages to come^ he might Jhew the exceeding riches 
of his grace. There is nothing more certain, than that 
later converts may outftrip older ones injeligion, from that 
word, Matth. xix. 30. Many that are fir ft ^ fiall he laft ; 
^nd the I aft Jh all befirft. Thus the apoftle Paul, who pro- 

in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ. 135 

feffed himfelf to be one born out of due time^ yet laboured more 
abundantly than all the apojlles^ who had religion before 
him ; and our text is the reafon. No doubt this falls out 
fometimes by the fault of firft converts : by their pride, 
lazinefs, and fecurity, they are thrown back behind many, 
who for a time had nothing of God, and goodnefs in them; 
but it is chiefly owing, to the larger meafures of grace, 
vouchfafed later converts above others ; for which no rea- 
fon can be afiigned, but fovcreign pleafure, or grace. God 
is arbitrary in his gifts, but not in his judgment: in con- 
verting grace, as to time and degree, he acls as a free Lord, 
Rom. ix. 16. So then it is not of him that wllleth^ nor of him 
that runneth ; but of God that (heweth mercy. Among the 
fons of men, all are born infants; but among the fons of 
God, fome arc born ftrong men at firft ; fo Paul feems to 
have been, i Cor. xv. 10. But by the grace of God^ 1 am 
ivhat I am : aiid his grace which was be/lowed on me was not 
' in vain^ but I laboured 7nore abundantly than they all ; yet not 
/, but the grace of God which was with me* 

Again, we may fee the reafon why our Lord converts 
fome juft when they are mad in their oppofition to him ; it 
is juft, that in the ages to come^ he inay fl^ew the riches of 
his grace. Many a time our Lord meets men in their high- 
eft refolutions for fm, with the higheft efficacy of his grace: 
thus pcrfons have come to the place of public worftiip, to 
deride and feoff at the difpenfation of the word ; and yet 
they have been met with in that place, and converted to 
God. Sometimes perfons have been deftgned to perfecute 
the faints ; and in an inftant, have been ftopt in their courfe, 
-by the power of converting grace. — Dionyiius the Areopa- 
gite, is an inftance of this work of God's love and grace : 
Paul is dragged before him to plead for his life, as 1 fetter 
forth of Jlrange gods^ which at Athens was death by 
law ; in this frame of fpirit, God meets with him by his 
grace, and immediately fin decays in the womb, and he 
cleaves to Paul and his doftrine, Ads xvii. 34* — The a- 

136 The Riches of Grace dlfplayed^ 

poftlc Paul himfelf, is an inflance of this myftery of the 
love and grace of God \ for our Lord encountered him ib 
full carreer, when his heart was more than ordinarily fet 
on mifchief, and near tlie place of doing it, fiiuts up the 
womb of fm, and dries the breafts, fo that he cries out, 
Lord^ what wilt thou have ?ne to dof And he could never 
forget this circumftance ; fo he intimates, that this is the 
way of God's procedure with others, even to meet thera 
with his converting grace, in the height of their iln and 
folly: For this caufe I obtained mercy ^ that in me firj}^ J^fi^^ 
CJiriJ} might fhew forth all long-fuffering^ for a pattern to them 
'which fJjQuld hereafter believe on him to life everlafling, Ta 
be fuffered to profper in iin, is one of the firil judgments; 
to be kept back from fin, efpecially by converting grace, 
is the firft of mercies ; and this our Lord does. Job xxxiii, 
1 6. Then he openeth the ears of man^ and fealeth their in- 
flruclion^ that he may draw man from his purpofe^ and hide, 
fride from man. 

From this fee, v/hy God fometimes goes into gracelefs 
families^ and makes them gracious ; it is to floew the ex- 
ceeding riches of grace. Although falvation is moft ordi- 
nary among the feed of the godly, yet God fometimes takes 
men of an evil ftock, and makes them godly ; as a rofe 
may grow upon a thorn, fo a fprig of an ill flock may be 
grafted into the tree of life : thus godly liezekiah was the 
fon of Ahaz ^ Joiiah, the fon of Amnion ; — that he may 
fhew the exceeding riches and freedom of his grace. Car- 
nal parents, as much as in them lies, obflrucl and flop up 
the courfe of mercy, from defc ending to their children : 
does it not then heighten the riches of grace, to break 
through this obflruclion, and make their children monu- 
ments of grace and mercy ? 

Hence we fee the reafon why God refijls the prcud^ and 
refpecls the lowly. When a Philofopher of old was alked, 
what God was doing ? he anfwered ; That his whole work 
was lifting up the humble, -and calling down the proud :^ 

in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ. ■ i%f 

arid fcripture fays the flimc, Pfal. cxxxviii. 6. Tho^ the Lord 
he h'lgh^ yet be bath r effect to the lowly ; but the proud heknow-*^ 
etb afar off, James iv. 6. God rejifleth the proud; hut he. 
giveth grace to the humble. Not becaufe this frame of foul 
is mcritorioLis of God's grace, but becaufe a humble dif^ 
pofition beft ferves God's great ciefign of lifting up, and 
glorifying his grace. What was God's end, from the lay- 
ing the foundation, to the putting on the cope-ftone o£ 
grace, but juft to exalt the riches of grace: this is what 
he will have magnified to eternity ; and it is not pride, 
but humility of fpirit, that fuits God's defign of exalting 
the freedom and riches of grace bcft. It is not the lega- 
lift, but the evangelill; not the proud Pharifee, but the 
poor Publican, who is fmitting on his breaft, and crying, 
God be merciful to me a firmer^ that fubmits to the revelati- 
on of grace. A foul is never truly humbled, until it be 
brought to make mercy and grace its only plea ; and to 
boaft in the freedom, the fuitablenefs, and the largenefs 
of mercy. 

Hence we may learn, w^hy God lets matters come to aii 
extretnity^ with his children and people, before he relieve 
them ; it is to fliew the exceeding riches of his ^race. Not 
only does our Lord aillicl his people, but he ufes to lefc 
things come to the utmofl point of extremity, before he 
relieve them ; thus he nev-er appeared for Abraham's re- 
lief, till he was juft going to thruft the bloody knife inta 
Ifaac's throat ; nor the Ifraelites, till their bondage was at 
the greateft height ; nor the Jews from Haman's plot, till 
the decree was paft, the letters of execution written, and 
the pods fcnt off vrith them : and why ? it is juft that his 
mercy and grace may be the more confpicuous. If our 
Lord w^ere to help them, before matters come to an extre- 
mity, they might imagine, their own wifdom, and power 
had brought relief: but when he ftays till extremity, the 
jlielp of grace is more vifible" to them. And as he does it 
^o make his grace and mercy more confpicuous, foto make 

138 The Riches o/' Grace dlfplayed^ 

them greater in their eyes, and advance the glory of his | 
grace. God's time of help, is ufually when man's time 
of help is gone; juft that the preflures of his people may 
be the prefaces of his mercy ; Noiv will I rife^ faith the Lord; 
now will I be exalted. 

Hence fee why God has put omv ft ock into Chrift's hand, 
and not into our own ; it is, that in the ages to come^ he 
might fhew the exceeding riches of his grace* It is fure and 
certain, in that our Lord Jefus is our treafury and llore- 
houfe. In him are hid all the treafures of wifdom and know- 
ledge ; and it f leafed the Father that in him f}:oxdd all fulnefs 
dwell : but why fo ? Several reafons are given for it ; fuch 
as our incapacity to hold the ftock of grace defigned ; for 
we are but vefTels, not able to receive all the grace defign- 
ed to come to us : hence the Lord's people when like to 
be overpowered with his grace, and forced to cry out, 
Stay me with flagons., comfort mc with apples^ for I am ftck 
cf love* Their infufficiency to manage all the grace to be 
given, is another reafon of it. If man in his beft eflate 
could not guide his ilock, far lefs we in our linful eflatc ; 
and therefore it is laid up in Chrift's hand, and it is to 
hearten them in a time of need, as it cannot mif*: to do: 
how can it be but comforting to a believer, to think when 
he has nothing in his own cup-board, that he has fulnefs, 
all fulnefs in Chrift? But the great reafon is, to fhew the 
exceeding riches of his grace. Had God given his people 
their flock of grace, and left them to the improvement of 
it, he had been magnified indeed, becaufe it was more 
than he owed them ; but he had not been fo magnified as 
he is now, when the believer is daily beholden to Chriil 
for grace ; when Chrift follows them with grace and 
flrength for every condition, and trial ; as it is faid of the 
Ifraelites, The rock folhwed them, 

' Here fee 11 fuffident anfwer to all the arguments of un- 
belief viz, that the ultimate end and defign of all God's 
kindnefs is the exaltation of the exceeding riches of his grace • 

in God's Kindnefs to Sinners ^w Christ. 135 

There is a generation that will not only doubt, but argue 
for their doubting ; they will not only decline believing, 
but they will plead the caufe of unbelief, from their own 
iinpreparednefs, then* own unworthinefs, the greatnefs of 
their fins, and their continuance in fin : but here is a fuf- 
ficient anfwer to them all ; that the fuprerae end of God 
in faving men, is the glorifying of the riches of his grace. 
If God had told us how much he hath done, and would 
do out of love to us, we could not have believed it ; but 
when he tells us, that the principal thing that moved him, 
is the manifeftation of the riches of his grace, this may fa- 
tisfy the foul ; this is fuch a reafon as the heart may ac- 
quiefce in: this takes off all objections; and the fi:ronger 
thefc objedions arc, it gives more and more hope ; becaufc 
all objedions become but matter for God's free grace to 
fhcw its riches on the finner. 

From this fee, that if believers be ftraitned^ it is not in 
God, but in themfelves j for he delights to JJjew the exceed- 
ing riches of his grace. If there come but a little light in- 
to the room, the defecl is not in the fun, but in the nar- 
rownefs of the window. If a vefl*el fill but flowly, the 
fault is not in the emptinefs of the fountain, but in the 
fmallnefs of the pipe. If mercies come to us but fparingly, 
it is not becaufe God is unwilling to befi:ow, but becaufe 
we are unwilling to receive them : to us belongs the fhame^ 
Hence fee the great matter we fhould Iludy to know; 
it is God's grace in Chrifi: Jefus. The glory of grace is 
God's utmoft end in our falvation ; and fo of all things we 
fliould feek to be acquainted with free grace. This is the 
fum and fubftance of the gofpel ; and Ihould be the fum 
and fubfl:ance of our knowledge. A man may ftep out of 
the way in other things, and not fi:ep out from God ; but 
when a man fieps out of the way and road of free grace. 
to any thing elfe, he is faid to turn from God; hence is 
. that exprelfion. Gal. i. 6. / mar-eel that ye are fo foan remove- 
id from him that, called you ^ unto the grace ofChrifl^ to cniothat 

;i4^ The Riches o/" Grace difplayed^ 

go/pel ; becaufe they did not hold the doctrine of giacCa 
It was God's great end to advance grace ; and therefore, 
he calls ftepping afide from the do6lrine of it, a fruftraiing 
cf the grace of God: it fruftrates the great delign of God, 
Gal. ii. 2 1. There are two things the fubje6l matter of 
the gofpel, the Chrift of God, and the grace of God : the 
Chrift of God; therefore it is called the gof pel of Chrift : 
the grace of God; therefore it is called the zvord of grace ^ 
and t\iQ gofpel of the grace of God: and to divert from Chrift, 
5s to turn to another gofpel^ according to the apoftle : and 
Jie pronounces a ciirfe upon any that fhall do it, even upon 
?ingels themfelves. 

Here we may fee good reafon why all our obedience 
fhould be nothing but thankfidnefs to God : why ? becaufe 
Ood's end and defign is to exalt the riches of his grace. 
Our obedience fliould not therefore be a peace-offering, but 
a thafik-offering : thus grace was the fpring of the apoftle's 
obedience, 2 Cor. i. 2. We have not walked in flefhly wfdom^ 
hut by the grace of God we have had our converfatlon among 
:4he Gentiles, Flefhly wifdom was not the motive that 
ilirred up his obedience, but the grace of God. 

Hence we fee why God has appointed union to the per- 
son of Chrift to be the way of tranflating iinners from the 
covenant of works to the covenant of grace : it is juft that 
in the ages to co?ne^ he might fhew forth the exceeding riches 
if his grace. 

Hence we may informed, why God frequently lays the 
. heavieft burdens on the weak eft hacks ; it is, that in the ages 
to co7V.e.^ he may fiew the exceeding riches of his grace. It is 
lure and certain, that the weakeft get the heavieft burdens 
from that word, i Cor. i. 2 7. But God hath chofen the foolifh 
things of this loorld to confound the wife ; and God hath cho- 
fen the "meak things of this worlds to confound the mighty. If 
jif. ;he back grows the weaker, the burdens are increafed; 
it is but an^ordinary piece of management in the myftery 
of Gn-^ which accounts for that order, Ffal, xl. 31. T^bey 


in GoTth Ktndnefs to Sinners in Christ. 141 

'that wait on the Lord/hall renezv their Jlrength, Now, why 
does God lav the heaviefl burden on the weakeft backs? 
it is not only to dilplay the power of his hands, but the 
power of his grace; 2 Cor. xii. 9. My grace is fufficieni for 
thee: for my firehgt'h is made perfect in weaknefs, '' The 
more ready (as one fays) the houfe is to fall, the more 
does appear the efficacy of the prop that holds it up." 
Here we may fee why God fometimes defer ts his people; 
it is to f^jew the- exceeding riches of his grace. It is true, he 
never tryfts his people with eternal defertion, but he fre- 
quently tries them with a temporary defertion; For a f nail 
7noment have I forfaken thee. He never tryfts them with a 
defertion as to the being of grace ; but he frequently tryfts 
them with a defertion as to comfort. Many a time they 
lofe the fenfe or feeling of God's love, yet they have his 
prefence, and they remain objects of love; Pfal. Ixxiii. 23, 
Neverthelefs I am continually with thee ; thou haft holden 7ns 
by my right hand. Well, why does he defert them ? it is 
juft to ftiew the exceeding riches of his grace : for this dif- 
penfation heightens the value and efteem of his gracious 
prefence, as we may fee in the fpoufe, Song v. 6. / opened 
to my beloved^ hut my beloved had withdrawn hifufelf and was 
gone: my foul failed when he fpake : I fought hira^ but I cbidd 
not find him'; I called him^ hut he gave me no anfwer. 

Hence we may fee the reafon why the covenant of grace 
was made with our Lord Jefus^ and not with us in our 
own perfons : why, that he might fhew the exceeding riches 
of his grace. The covenant of works was made with man, 
a mere man ; but the covenant of grace with God-man; 
Pfal. Ixxxix. 3. / have made a covenant with my chofen^ or 
my chofen one: and our part of it is only to accept the 
bleilings of the covenant, fully purchafed by the Saviour, 
and prefented to the finner: and why is it fo? Several 
reafons might be given for it ; fuch as, becaufe God could 
not enter into a conditional covenant with us bankrupts : 
thut the communication of righteoufnefs and life might 

14* The Riches g/* Grace difplaycd^ 

be In as compendious a way, as the communication of fin 

and death ; for as by one marHs difohedience^ many were made 
firmer s ; fo by the obedience of one Jhall many be made righteous : 
but the grand reafon is, that it might be to us a covenant 
of grace, a compofition of mere grace ; had it been made 
with us, tho' the conditions of it had been never fo low, 
it had been a covenant of works ; for to him that workethy 
the reward is not reckoned of grace ^ but of debt. But Chrift 
Jefus being the fole undertaker and performer of the con- 
dition, it is a covenant of pure grace, and all ground of 
boafting is taken away ; Where is boa/ting then f it is ex* 
eluded. O but this is lingular grace to ftand under Chrift*s 
covenant, to get all bleffings as one with him ; to be in 
cafe to claim them all in his right, by virtue of the cove- 
nant made with him ; and to perform all the duties of the 
covenant, as accepted in the perfon of Chrift, the Lord 
receiving them all from the hand of Chrift, Rev. viii. 3, 4. 
Hence fee why the covenant of grace was made with 
Chrift from eternity ; it was that in the ages to come^ he 
might Jhew the exceeding riches of his grace. Although the 
covenant of grace was the fecond covenant, in refpecl of or- 
der and manifeftation to the world ; yet it was fr/ly in re- 
fpecl of being, being actually made with Chrift from eter- 
nity ; and hence called an eternal covenant^ Heb. xiii. 20.: 
and why was it fo ? juft that he might fliew the exceeding 
riches of his grace. The love of God is eternal ; / have 
loved thee with an everlafling love: but if the covenant of 
giace had not been made from eternity, it would have re- 
mained a pent-up affeclion in his own bo^vels ; but the 
covenant being made from eternity, it got an early vent, 
even from eternity, and did not wait the flow motion of 
its objects creeping out of the womb of time. Hence 
grace is faid to be given us in Chrift Jefus^ before the foun- 
dation of the world; and eternal life is faid to be fromifed 
before the world began ^ viz. to Chrift as our head and re- 
prefentative, Titus i. 2. In hope of eternal life^ which Qoi 
that cannot lye fromifed usy before the world began% 

in God's Kindnefs to Sinners in ChRist. 143 

Here we may be informed, why God fo fpeedily revealed 
the new covenant, after the fall of man ; becaufe he want- 
ed to Jheiv the exceeding riches of bis grace. No fooner had 
man broken the covenant of his God, and forfeited his life 
to juftice, and the threatening of death was ready to be 
executed upon him, than God made the fweet and fur- 
prizing intimation of life to found in his ears, in that firft 
promife, The feed of the woman fhall bruife the head of the 
ferpent ; which was the firft ftream that ever flowed from 
the fountain of grace, in the heart and purpofe of the God 
of grace. As foon as man was made, he haftencd to ruin 
himfelf ; and God almoft as foon as he was ruined, made 
hafte to recover hinh; as a tender parent flies to refcue 
his child, fallen into fire or water, and hugs it in his 
arms moft compaffionately ; fo our heavenly Father, fpeedi- 
ly refcued our firft parents from their fallen eftate, by the 
hand of this promife, and embraced them in the bofom of 
his love moft tenderly : this was love and grace indeed ; 
fpeedy kindnefs is double kindnefs. Had the God of grace 
promifed man recovery a thoufand years after his fall, 
it had been a glorious a6l of grace ; but he promifed it per- 
haps the very day he fell : this proclaims divine grace doubly 
glorious. O the riches of grace to wretched man! that 
would not fufFer him to lie defpairing in his mifery; that 
would not permit the old ferpent to infult over him and 
his mifery ; that would not fupprefs the yearning of his 
bowels of mercy to miferable undone men; that would not 
defer the publication of the foul-reviving gofpel of Chrift, 
the finner's falvation, and the ferpent's damnation /i/r one 

Hence learn, why God allows mountains of oppofttion^^ 
to be rolled in the way of his greateft and moft glorious, 
works for his church and people ; it is, that in the ages to 
come^ he might fhew the exceeding riches of his grace. As for 
inftance, the falvation of the fons of men bv Chrift, whom 
he had chofen before all worlds, is a bufinefs M^hich of all 


144 ^^^ Riches ^ Grace difplayed^ 

others he moft mindeth, and effectually intendeth; but 
doth he bring it about without oppoiition ? no ; never did 
fuch mountains lie in the way of any bufinefs. Adam, 
lins, and in him all thefe \vhom God meant to fave; fo 
their way to heaven was quite blocked up : mountains of 
iin make a feparation betwixt him and them, which all the> 
power of men and angels could no more level, or remove, 
than they could remove a real mountain at once ; but the 
Son of God comes, and throws all thefe mountains in- 
to the bottom of the fea, firft by price, and then by power ; 
that in the ages to come^ he mi^ht Jhew the exceeding riches 
of his grace. No doubt, he does it to confound his ene- 
mies the more; but it is chiefly to fhew his grace to his 
people : for he renders vengeance to his enemies^ and \% mer^ 
ciful to his people^ at one and the fame time, Deut. xxxii, 


Here we may be informed, why the oj^er and exhibiti- 

on of falvation is univer/al, tho' the furpofe and purchafe 
ht particular ; it is, that in the ages to come^ he might Jheiv 
the exceeding riches of his grace. The purpofe is particular j 
accordingly we read of a remnant according to the eledion 
cf grace : the purchafe is like wife fo ; / lay down my life for 
my fJoeep, But the tender is very large and liberal; flil- 
vation in a way of grace, is not only publifhed, tendered, 
and offered to Chrift's feed, by eleclion given to him ; but 
alfo to the whole vifible church, wherein there are more tares 
than wheat ; yea, even unto them that are out of the vifible 
church, Pagans and Infidels. Thus when the Jews reject- 
ed the tender of the gofpcl, and thereby judged themfelves 
unworthy of eternal life, the apoflles turned to the Gentiles, 
and preached to them; and fo he was found of them that 
fought him not^ and was made manifefl to them that afked net 
after him : nay, gofpel offers know no limitations ; Who- 
foever will let him come ; and the reafon is ? jufl to fliew the 
exceeding riches of his grace. Several reafons may be given 
for it J as that the elect feed of Chrift may be effectually 

in GoD*s Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ.' f 4J^ 

Called, and gathered from among the corrupt niafs of man-^ 
kind ; for God*s cle<fi: are not fhut up in a corner by them- 
felves, but mingled among the reft of the world, as ftieep 
among goats ; now when the gofpel-offer is made effeclual, 
he calleth his own fliecp by name, and leadeth them out- 
It is alfo fo directed to all, that reprobates who negled fa 
great afalvation tendrcd them, may be left without excufey 
for. How fJoall they efcape^ if they negle5l fo great a falvation f ^ 
But the great feafon is, that God in the free offers of his 
grace may be magnified and glorified, as it came to pafs a- 
mong the Gentiles, who perceiving, tbat the gofpel fhoulcf 
be offered to them as well as to the Jews, kvere glad and 
glorified the word of the Lord. 

Hence fee wherein the riches of the gofpel lie, namely^ 
in the doclrine of free grace. There is iii it, no doubt, 
riches of wifdom ; hence called the myflery of the manifold 
wifdom of God: — of power; therefore called the power of 
God unto f ah at ion : biit God's free grace is the great deptli 
and riches of it. The doclrine of grace which hath fliined 
fo abundantly on us, will be cleared mor^ and more to the 
end of the world. The nearer we come to the kingdom 
of glory, the more bright will the kingdom of grace fhine ; 
for anti-chrift himfelf fhall be deftroyed by the dodrlne of 
grace : he will confume him with the Spirit of his mouthy 
hnd fhall deflroy him with the hrightnefs of his comings 2 Thef. 
ii. 8. There was little of free grace revealed under the Old 
Teftament ; it was veiled under types and ceremonies ; but 
now life and immortality are brought to light. God began 
fparingly ) but he referved the ages to come, for breaking 
up the exceeding riches of his grace. 

From this learn, that glory hereafter is of grace, as well 
as grace here: becaufe, in the ages to come^ he is to fhew the 
Exceeding riches of his grace. All the glory that God beftows 
upon the faints in the world to come, hath grace for itj 
fountain : therein he fliews forth his grace ; yea, the ex- 
ceeding riches of his grace. It is not only grace^ but ic 


X46 The Riches of Ok ace dlfplayed, 

is the perfedion of grace; the riches of grace, and the 
higheft riches of it ; the greateft exuberance of grace, to 
beflow heaven upon us. Some will acknowledge grace in 
converfion ; but when they come to fpeak of glorification, 
there they thruft in merit : but it is grace, and grace to 
eternity, and the height of grace ; Rom. ix. 23. That God 
might make known the riches of his glory ^ in the vejfels of mercy: 
where you fee he calls the fubjecls of glory, the veffels of 
viercy ; becaufe all the riches of glory are riches of grace 
and mercy. We were dead in trefpa.ffes and in fins ; chil- 
dren of wrath by nature as well as others : hell was our place; 
how were we delivered therefrom? why, the exceeding 
riches of grace pulled us out, and fets us upon that height 
and top of blelTednefs in the world to come. It is of the 
Lord's mercies that we are not confumed; it is of his 
mercy that we are not in hell : and when we get to hea- 
ven, it is mercy that fliall bring us thither \ and it is mercy 
that will keep and continue us there. 

Hence we my fee, that iYio. fa hat ion of finners by grace, 
is very confident with the honour of fpotlefs holinefs and 
exad jujlice ; for it is in and through Chrifi:, that he hath 
vindicated holinefs, and fatisfied jufi;Ice. There are fome 
poor fouls, when they fall under fad challenges, and awak- 
enings of confcience, are ready to think, '' O it is in vain 
ever to think he will be gracious or merciful to me ; I am 
fuch a filthy creature, that I cannot think it will fi:and 
with his holinefs to fave the like of me ; fuch a guilty fin- 
ner, that I cannot think it will ftand with the juftice of 
God to fave the like of me ;" but it is a grofs miftake, fee- 
ing all is in Chriil, who hath brought holinefs and jullice 
to kifs grace and mercy, that there might not be a diflent- 
ing attribute in God ; Truth hath 7net with mercy ^ • and 
righteoufnefs and peace have embraced each other^ PfaL 
Ixxxv. 10. You need not think it is inconfiftent with 
the holinefs of God ; for, tho' the holinefs of God makes 
him vehemently hate fin, yet it inclines him to ihew mercy; 

__ I 

in Go d's Kindnefs to Sinners ^« Ch R i s T. 1 47 

for it is wi^kcdnefs, not a hatred of it, that makes any 
cruel : hence is that word, The tender mercies of the wicked 
are cruel? The holinefs of God is fo far from being an 
enemy io your obtaining mercy, that it obliges him to fhew 
mercy ; for it obliges him to fulfil his promife ; and his 
promife is, / loUl he merciful to their unrighteoufnefs. Ac- 
cordingly ^ God often prefixes this attribute to his promife ; 
/ will help thee^ faith the Lord^ and thy Redeemer, the Holy 
One of Ifrael : and once have Ifpoken in my holinefs. You need 
not think it is inconfiftent with juftice ; for the contrary 
is determined already, Hof. ii. 19. I will betrothe thee un^ 
to me for ever, in righteoufnefs and in judgment. You may 
anfwer the devil's temptation, fince God can be as righte- 
ous in pardoning, as in damning you ; Being jujlified free- 
ly by his grace, through the redemption that is in Chrijl Jefus; 
and that the juftice of God gets more glory in your falva- 
tion, than in your deftruclion ; for in your falvation it ap- 
pears in conjunction with grace and mercy, whereas in 
your damnation it would fliine alone : and it does not ap- 
pear with fo much advantage alone, as when it is in con- 
junction with mercy. 

Again, we may fee, that God's defign, and that of cor- 
rupt nature, are directly oppoftte to one another. God's 
defign is to exalt the riches of his grace ; but corrupt na- 
ture is for exalting free-will. Corrupt nature is the very 
reverfc of the gofpel method of falvation : works are our 
natural holding or tenure ; Do this and live, is the infcrip- 
tion on the natural heart : but grace is our tenure by the 
gofpel ; By grace are ye faved. Nature is always for-exalt- 
ing itfelf, and to have fome ground of boafting ; but the 
great defign of the gofpel, is to exalt grace, deprefs na- 
ture, and exclude boafting. The fum of natural religion, 
is to do good from and for ourfelves ) but the fum of the 
gofpel religion, is to deny ourfelves, and to do good,, 
from and to Chrift ; For me to live is Chrijl ^ and to die is. 
^ain. According to the gofpel wc fliould ft and in an im- 

T 2 

148 TJ^e Riches 5/" Grace difplayed^ 

puted righteoufnefs ; but according to nature we are air 
ways for an inherent righteoufnefs; Good majler^ whap 
good thing Jhall I dg^ that I may inherit eternal life? But 
when wrath makes inquifition for fin, we will find it ar^ 
excellent thins: to be fliekered under the covenant of ofrace, 
and to be covered with Chrift's righteoufnefs ; and when 
We come to die, that righteoufnefs will be found to be the 
ieft winding-fheet. 

Moreover, from this learn, wherein the criminal nature 
^pf unbelief lies ; it lies in crofling God's great end and defign 
5n the method of falvation, which was^ that in the ages to come^ 
^e might fhew the exceeding riches of his grace. The delign 
©f God in the gofpel is to glorify himfelf, and all the holy 
g)roperties of his nature ; after that many of them were ob- 
ifcured by fin, to the eternal ruin of finners : to glorify his 
^vifdoip, hplinefs, and power ; and above all his love, grace, 
a,nd mercy ; that in the ages to co7ne^ he might fhew the exceed- 
ing riches of his grace. Unbelief is nothing but an attempt of | 
flhe ill heart to fruftrate this grand defign ; and herein lies % 
ihe great evil of it : it is this that makes it to be the chief of 
Jins., as faith is the chief of graces. Murder an4 adultery, 
snd the greatefi. abominations, are not more difpleafing to 
<God, than a bare non-compliance with the method of grace : 
±his is the condemnation. This is that which fends greater 
^nultitudes to hell than all the profanenefs amongfi: us : it 
5s this, that makes the punifliment of unbelievers moft 
HntoUerable. There ^re three mpil facred things, and who- Jj 
ipever ftumbles at any one of them (I mean, finally) is broken 
5n pieces ; the rich grace of God vci providing the way to 
JieayePi ; the blood of the Son that confecrate it; and the 
gracious ftrivings of the Spirit to bring men to walk in 
^his v/ay : and whofoever does not fall in with this way, 
is cliargeable with all thefe ; he frufl:rates the grace of God^ 
t:ramplp o?| t)it blood of Chrifi:, and does defpite to the^ 
Spirit of grace. 
' Here fee^ that there 15 not only a conftflenty^ betweet\| 

,». -. J- ; 

^n God's Kindnefs to Sinners in Christ. 145 

Xrod's glory, and man's falvatlon ; but they increafe^ and 
-promote one another : why fo ? becaufe in his kindnefs to 
us, he manifefts the riches of his grace. Sirs, what is de- 
fpair ? It is nothing. but a prevaiHng apprehenlion of mind, 
that God's glory and man's falvation are inconliftent : or, 
that our falvation is inconfiftent with the glory of God ; 
whereas thefe are brought into a perfect confiftency, and 
mutual fubfervicncy in Chrift ; Rom. iii. 25. Whom God 
hath fet forth to he a propitiation through faith In his bloody 
to declare his right eoufnefs^ for the remijfion of fins that are 
pafl^ through the forbearance of God: and fo there is no 
ground for this curfed frame of foul, while the foul is out 
of hell. I call it a curfed frame of foul ; for it ftrengchens, 
and enrages all other fins in the foul. None fight fo fierce- 
ly as thofe who look for no quarter; they think themfelves 
dead men, and therefore they will fell their lives as dear 
as they can. Whatever a wicked devil and a wicked heart 
may fuggeft, God has done what became both him and 
us in Chrift: what became him ; For it became him for whom 
are all things^ and by whom are all things^ in bringing many 
fons unto glory ^ to make the Captain of their falvation -perfe^ 
through fiffering^ Heb. ii. 10.: and what became us; Such 
an high PrieJI became us, who is holy, harmlefs, undefiled^ 
fep aerate from finners, and made higher than the heavens^ 
ch. vii. 26. 

Further, we may fee why God gave Adam the law in 
the form of a covenant ; it was to niake way for the ex- 
altation of giace in Chrift Jefus. When God gave the law 
to man in paradife, in the form of a covenant, he never 
deiigned that man's happinefs ftiould ftand upon this bot- 
tom ; but only, that it ftiould pave the way for the cove- 
nant of grace, the bottom of a houfe of mercy: " Or, as 
" one expreiTes it, the covenant of works was only defign- 
" as a fcaftbld for raifing up a more glorious building of 
*' grace and mercy :" a building, in which every ftone, 
from the foundation to the cope-ftone, is pure mercy, rich 

i^o The Riches ^f Grace difplayed. 

and free mercy to us ; and it is ftrange madnefs in men to 
keep by the fcaiFold, when the fabric for which it was e- 
redled, is built ; For wifdom hath builded her houfe^ Jhe hath 
hew en out her /even pillars, — The chariot of the covenant 
of works, wherein all men, in the perfon of the firft Adam, 
were put, had fcarce begun to roll when it fplit to pieces, 
and great was the fall thereof: but this gave way for the 
covenant of grace, the chariot of the woojd of Lebanon, 
which king Solomon made for himfelf, and whofe pillars 
are filver, and whofe bottom is pure gold, for carrying the 
daughters of Jerufalem in fafety and triumph to glory. 

Laftly, See how the people of God fliould walk^ and be 
holy in all manner of converfation ; looking for, and haft- 
ning to the poiTeflion of glory, in which the riches of grace 
will be fliown forth: i Theff. ii. 12. That ye would walk 
worthy of God^ who hath called you to his kingdom and glory. 
It is not to walk worthy of the gofpel only ; but, which is 
higher, that they fliould walk worthy of God : it is not to 
walk worthy of grace only, but to walk worthy of the 
God of all grace. When our Lord Jefus was entered into 
a ftate glory, he had a different life from what he had before : 
and fliould not his people be fo likewife in conformity to 
him who died and rofe again ? Being buried with him by 
baptifm unto death : that like as Chrijl was raifed up from the 
deady by the glory of the Father ; even fo we alfo fhould walk 
in newnefs of life. And as obedient children^ not fafhioning 
y our f elves according to your former lufls^ in your ignorance ; but 
as he which hath called you is holy^ fo be ye holy^ in all man^ 
ner of converfation. 

t isi 3 

ChrisT:> the Sun of Right eoufnefs^ arifing 
with Healing in his Wings. 

Malachi iv. 2. 

But unto you that fear my name, Jloall the Sun of Righ- 
teoufnefs arife ivitb healing in his ivings. 

' I ^ H E prophet Malachi has many a contcft with the 
'^ Jews in this book, for feveral impieties which reign^ 
ed among them. In the 1 3th verfe of the preceding chap- 
ter, he contends with them for their athcifm, and their 
blafpheming the providence of God 5 Tour words have been 
flout againfl me, faith the Lord; yet ye fay, what have wfr 
fpokenfo much againfl thee? Among other anfwers the pro- 
phet gives to this blafphemous charge, he tells them there 
was a fad day coming, when the jmlice of God's dealing 
fliould be manifeft ; when they themfelves would difcern 
a clear difference betwixt thofe that ferved God, and thofe 
thatferved him not: and this difference which was to be made, 
is infilled upon in the beginning of this chapter; For behold ^ 
the day cometh that fl? all burn as an oven. They looked for 
the day of the Lord, as if that would heal all their troubles : 
no, faith the prophet ; it fhall be fuch a day as you dream 
not of: ^hey looked for peace, but behold trouble; for li^hty 
but behold darknefs : they looked for a day that would fhadc 
them from the difpleafure of the almighty; hut behold^ 
faith he, the day of the Lord fhall burn as an oven. What 
that day is has been much queftioned : fome would have 
it to be the day of the laft judgment only ; and according- 
ly they underftand the rifmg of the Sun of righteoufnefs, 
of his laft appearance to judgment: others underftand it 
of the day of Chrift's appearance, and manifeftation in the 

1S2 Christ, the Sun of Right eoufnefs^ 

flefli, which, to fome, would be a day of grace and rejoicing, 
indeed ; but, to others, a day of gloominefs and trouble ; 
this fenfe is favoured by what is faid, chap.iii. ver. 1,2. The 
Lord whom ye feek Jhall fuddenly come to his temple^ even the 
mejfenger of the covenant whom ye delight in : behold he Jhall 
come^ faith the Lord of hojls, — But who inay abide the day of 
his coming f arid who Jhall Jland when he appear eth f for he 
is like a refiner^ s fre^ and like fullers' foap. Accordingly, 
a fearful day came upon them who rejected the Lord Je- 
fus Chrift, and crucified him who came in the name of the 
Lord to fave men. But left the mourners in Zion, who 
waited for the conflation of Ifrael^ and who feared tloe 7idme 
of the Lord^ and trembled at his word^ fliould be difcourag- 
ed at this denunciation of wrath upon the wicked ; All the 
. proudy fays he ; yea, and all they that do wickedly, fhall be 
Jlubble ; and the day that co7neth fhall burn them up, faith the 
Lord of hoJls, that it fhall leave them neither root nor branch » 
The prophet, in the words of our text, feafonably admi-' 
nifters a cordial for cheering their drooping fpirits ; and, as 
it were, brings forth a fcreen to defend them from this 
confuming lire : But unto you that fear my name, this day 
fhall put on a very diiierent afpecl. — The wicked fliall be 
wounded, fliall fall, and arife no more ; but ye fliall be 
healed. — They, like hay and ftubble, fliall be caft into un- 
quenchable flames ; but ye, by the kindly influences of the 
fun of right eoufnefs, fhall go forth and grow up as calves of 

the ft all. In the text you may obferve, 

I . The character of the godly ; — Tou that fear my name. 
They are not under the reigning influence of a fervile 
fear and dread of God, as a flave is of his hard and cruel 
mafter ; for they have not received the Spirit of bondage again 
to fear, but they have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby 
they cry, Abba, Father, This filial fear, and holy reverencd 
of God, is the reigning difpoiition, arx} diftinguifliing cha- 
racler of all his children. It includes in it a deep impref- 
fion of his glorious majeftyj joined with a warm aflectioii 

arifrng ivith Healing in his Wings, 1^3 

to himftlf, and to :ill his pcrfecllons, as they fliine m the 
perfon of Chriil ; and this leads them forth to holinefs and 
circumfpeclion in their life and converfation : this leads 
them to exercife a con Rant jealoufy over themfelves, to 
av^oid everything that might offend him, and to run chear- 
fiilly in the way of his commandments. Let iis hear tha 
conclufion of the lohole matter^ faid the wife man ; fear Gody 
and keep his commandments ; for this is the whole duty of man, 
— Thcfc are the perfons, and this is their character, who 
fliall h^ hid in the evil day. And therefore you may ob- 

2 . The comfort and happinefs promifed to them, even when 
it iliould go ill with the wicked: — Unto you flmll the fun of 
right eon fnefs arife with healing in his wings. Our Redeemer 
is made known in fcripture by a great variety of metapho- 
rical names: — but lanQ:ua2:e fails to defcribe his excellcn- 

o o 

cies. Thefe figurative characters, however, are multipli- 
ed to an exceeding great number, for helping us to con- 
ceive of his glory; and that the deficiency of one might 
be fuppHed by the peculiar excellency of another. And 
hence we find him fometimes called a lamb, and fometimcs 
a lion ; fometimes a root, and fometimes a tree ; fometimcs 
a rofe, and fom^etimes a lilly ; fometimes light, and here 
the fun. And becaufe he is infinitelv above them al!, 
there is* ufually fome aggrandizing epithet added to thefe 
characters when applied to him. Is he a lamb? he is the 
Lamb of God: — Is he a lion? he is the Lion of the tribe of 
Judah : — Is he a rofe ? he is the rcfe of Sharon, and the lilly 
of the vallies : — and is he the fun? he is the Sun of righ- 
teoufiefs ; Unto you that fear ?ny name, fays our text, fJjall 
the Sun cf righteoufnefs arife with healing in his wings. 

Let none pafs their fevere cenfures upon this mixed 
rr?etaphor, which gives wi?igs to the fun. The figure is 
bold ; but it is written by the pen of infplration, whicli 
all true Chriilians will regard with huaaility and reverence. 


154 Christ, the Sun of Right eotifnefs^ 

The wings of the fun are certainly his beams or rays ; and 
may be fo called, becaufe, like wings, they furround, 
clothe, and adorn him : — becaufe of the fwiftnefs of his 
apparent motion : no fooner does he arife than he inftant- 
ly fpreads forth his beams, like wings, over the w^hole he- 
mifphere ; and hence we read of the wings of the morning : 
— and becaufe all the creatures on earth are gathered under 
them, and are cheriflied and made to grow by their influ- 
ences. And thus, by the wings of the fun of right eoufnefs^ 
we are to underftand all the emanations of grace and mercy, 
of light and warmth, which come from him to fmners, 
for their life, happinefs, and comfort : He fhall cover thee 
'with his feathers^ fays the Pfalmift ; and under his wingi 
fhalt thou truft. His truth fij all be thy fhield ojid buckler. 

The fearers of God's name are frequently in a dark and 
black night ; but this is their comfort, that God, who is 
faithful, hath promifed that the morning fhall dawn, and 
the fun of righteoufnefs fhall arife. They are often under 
fore and painful difeafes, which men and angels cannot 
cure ; but he ihall arife with healing in hi\ wings, David, 
the king of Ifrael, received comfort to his foul in his dying 
moments, from a believing view of this promife, 2 Sam. 
xxiii. 4. A}2d he fhall be as the light of the raorning^ when 
the fun rifeth ; even a morning without clouds ; as the tender ■ 
grafs ff ringing out of the earth by clear fhinlng after the rain* 

DocT. It is the comfort and happinefs of the fearers of 
God^s name^ in the worft of ti?nes, that our Redee?Jier^ 
the Sun of Right eoufnefs^ fbcdl arife with healing in his- 

We do not at prefent intend to enter upon the charader 
of the godly, here filled th.Q fearers of his name : — but iliall 
confine ourfelves to the other branch of doclrine,. and ol> 
ferve the following method. 

arifing ivith Healing in his Wings ^ ISS 

I. To fpeak of our Redeemer as the Sun of nghteoufiiefs. 

II. Of liis arifing, 

III. Of the healing in his wings. 

IV. Confirm the doctrine. And then, 

V. Make fomc application of the whole. 

I. We are firft to fpeak of Chrifl: as the Sun of right eouf- 
nefs. And upon this I would firil enquire, what is imported 
in his being lliied, the Sun : and fecondly, what in his be- 
ing ftiled, tl^e Sun ^ Right eg usni^ss. 

i/?, We are to enquire, what is imported in our Re- 
deemer's being fdled, the Sun, And, 

1. His being called the Sun imports his oneness. You 
know there is but one fun ; and juft fo, our Lord Jefus 
is but ONE in his perfon, and in his office. 

(i.) He is but one in his perfon ; he has two natures, 
the one eternal, immenfe, and almighty, the form and 
elTence of God ; the other temporal and finite, which is 
our nature afTumed, when he was nuidc fleflj^ and dwelt 
among us : but he has one iingle individual perfon; GoL 
ii. 9. In him dwells all the fulnefs of the Godhead bodily ; 
that is, the whole Deity, and all the perfcclions of the 
Deity, dwell in Chrift perfon ally ; by virtue of the perfo- 
nal union of the divine, w^ith the human nature. The 
eternal perfon of the Son of God, did, by an ineffable acl: 
of divine power and love, fo join the hum^.n nature to 
Jrimfelf, as that the perfon of the Word, which fiibiifted 
before, only in the divine nature, now fubfifts alfo in the 
human, w^hich never had a diflincl: perfonality of its own, 
but was adumed, or taken into the divine pv^rfon of the 
Son in Chriil:. Therefore there are n-jt two pcribns, one 
of man, and the other of the Son of God : but the divine 
nature is fo united to the human, that therein it fubfiil- 
bodily ; that is, hypoftatically : hence the fon of David, i>> 
called Jehovah our Bjghteoufnefs^ and God hUffcd for ev^r^ 

U ^ . 

JS^ Christ, the Sun of Righteoicfnefs^ 

The eternal Son of God became man, not by afTuming the 
ferfon^ but the nature of man. Man is faid to be aflumed, 
becaufe a human foul and body were aflumed: the perfon 
of man is not faid to be afTumed, becaufe that foul and 
l3ody were not united to one another in a perfon, before 
they were united to the perfon of the Son of God. As 
ichoolmen fpeak of the foul's creation and infufion into 
ihe body ; that in its creation it is infufed, and in its infu- 
iion it IS created : fo it may be faid of our nature, when 
aiTumed by the Son of God, that in the aifamption it was 
formed, and in the formation it was afTumed ; and hence 
at had no proper perfonality of its own, but in the Son of 
<iod. This does not in the Icaft militate againft the im- 
auutability of the divine nature and perfon of our Lord 
Jefus ; for there was here no real change in him, but on- 
ly a relative one. As creation, though it made a change 
5n the creature, from nothing to fomething, yet none in 
the Creator; fo the afuimption of our nature made no 
change in the divine, or nature afTuming, but in the hu- 
3iian, or the nature afTumed: as little does it render the 
Jiuman nature more imperfe^i:, than that of another man, 
l^ecaufe to fubiift in a divine perfon, is incomparably more 
jioble and eminent, than to fubfift by itfelf ; for a man 
that is not a human perfon, having no perfonality, but 
that of the eternal Son of God, is fuch a myftery as pafTes 
:all underlTanding ; Without coniro'uerfy great is the myftery of 
-godlinefs^ God was manfeft in the fiep. If you have the 
faith of one of God's elecl, ye will believe it ; but though 
ye had all the learning of the world, ye will never com- 
prehend it. 

. (:?.) Chrift is one in his office ; i Tim. ii. 5. There is one 
Qod^ and one Mediator between God and raen^ the man Chrijl 
Jefus, The iirfl covenant betwixt God and man was im-. 
mediate, without the interpofition of a Mediator; but not 
the fecond : under the firft there was a fweet league and 
tpnd pf friendfhip between God and man, but this was 

arijing with Healing in his Wings. 157 

diffolved ; and therefore there was an abfolute neceflity for 
a day's-man, to lay his hands upon both. The creation 
of all things out of nothing, was a glorious effect of infi- 
nite wifdom and power ; but when the glory of this deiiga 
was eclipfed, by the entrance of fin, the provifion of a Me- 
diator, by whom ail things are refi.ored to a condition of 
bringing more glory to God^ and fafety to men, is a far 
greater one ; yea, the greatefi: and mofi; glorious exter- 
nal effect of wifdom, power, and grace, that ever they 
did or will produce. And who is this Mediator? It is the 
Sun of righteoufnciS ; Heb. xii. 24. Te are come to Jefus 
the Mediator of the new covenant. It is true, many falfe 
mediators have been joined with him by men, but none 
by God ; Adts iv. 12. There is no falvation in another* • 
None elfe was ever appointed to this work by God ; John 
iv. 42. We know that this is indeed the Chrijl, the Saviour of 
the world: and none elfe was ever fit for it; for he only 
had an alliance to both parties ; to God, whereby he could 
call him Father ; to us, whereby he could call us brethren: 
and none other was needful ; for, being the true God and 
eternal life^ he was fufficient to make peace, without ailift- 
ance from any other. Brethren, none ever did what was 
necefi'ary to reconcile us to God; none elfe ever interpof- 
ed as a fhelter between the irrefiftible wrath of God and 
our fouls. The meritorious blood of the one Medi- 
ator, which he fhed on the crofs, reached as far back, 
as the beginning of the world, and put virtue in the facrifice 
of righteous Abel ; this fame blood now purgeth the con- 
fcicnccs of the guilty : it fliall retain its virtue for ever, 
and fhall be fprinkled on the lall foul of the elecl race. 
Peifons may as well maintain a plurality of gods, as a plu- 
rality of mediators ; for, as there is hut one God, fo there is 
but one Mediator between God and inen. Let us therefore 
have recourfe to this one Mediator, when others make 
lies their refuge, and hide themfelves under falfhood ; and 
when the hail fliall fweep away their refuge, and the wa- 

158 Christ, the Sun of Right eoufnefsy 

ters overflow their hiding-place, we fliall have a fufEcient 
fhelter, blow the ftorm from whatever quarter: for. He 

is able to fave to the uttermoft^ all that come unto God by him, 
2 . Clirill's being fliled the Sim, may import his great- 
>v^Ess. The fun, you know, is a vaft globe of fire, efteem- 
ed by the antients, at a modeil computation, one hundred 
and fixty times bigger than the earth : v/ell, our Lord is 
very great; Ifai. xii. 6. Cry out and Jhout^ thou inhabitant 
of Zion ; for great is the Holy One of Ifael in the midft of 
thee. He is both abfolutely and comparatively great.— 
He is abfolutely great \ being the great God our Saviour : his 
greatnefs runs through all hi.^ perfeclions : whatever God 
is, he is great in it. — He is great in wifdom^ having the 
compafs of all things in his underflanding ; and hence cal- 
led, the only wife God : the wifdom of men and angels, is 
but folly when compared with his. — He is great in fower^ 
and that in all forts of power; great in authoritative power, 
and great in executive power. As he commands what he 
pleafes to be done, fo he can do what he commands : wif- 
dom and might are his ; wifdom to contrive, and power 
to efiecl. Where Ihould wifdom and power dwell, but in 
God over allf — He is great in holinefs ; Great is the Holy One 
of IfraeL — He is great in goodnefs ; How great is his goodnef f 
— He is great in his love: his love is fo great, that when 
we are called to the greateft ftudy after the knowledge of 
it, we are told we cannot know the greatnefs of it, Eph. 
ili. 18. That ye may know the love of Chrift which fafeth 
knowledge. Whatever is in him as God, is God; and 
therefore great : the power of God, is the powerful God ; 
and therefore great: the wifdom of God, is the wife God; 
and therefore great : the mercy of God, is the merciful God ; 
and therefore great. — God is likewife great comparatively ; 
Pfal. cl. 2. Praife him according to his excellent greatnefs : 
he is greater than the greateft, higher than the higheft ; 
fo great, that all things are httle, yea, nothing before him ; 
Ifa. xl. 15, 17. Behold the natio?is are as a drop of a bucket^ 

ariftng nvith Healing in his Wings. i^() 

And are crjiinted as the fmall dujl of the balance : behold he 
taketh tfp the ijles as a very little thing. All nations before 
him- are as nothing, and they are accounted to him lefs than 
nothing and 'vanity, O how great is our Lord, in compa- 
rifon of whom the greateft things are little, yea, nothing ! 
Well might Mofes cry out, Deut. xxxii. 3 . Becaufe I will 
fublifJj the name of the Lord, afcribe ye greatnefs unto our God; 
for he hath done great things for us, which none in the whole 
creation could have done. — He has fully anfwered all the 
demands of a broken law, in the room of an clecl compa- 
ny ; a work none elfe could have done, a weight none 
elfe could have born, a debt none elfe could have paid: 
He hath magnified the law and made it honourable, — He has 
deftroyed fin, that firft-born of the devil ; For this purpofe 
the Son of God was manife/led, that he might deflroy the works 
of the devil, — He has vanquiilied death and the grave ; / 
will ranfom the?n from the power of the grave ; I will redeem 
them from death : death, where is thy fling? grave, where 
is thyvidory, — He has foiled the devil; The feed of the wo- 
?na7i fhall briiife the head of the ferpent ; fo that w^e may 
fay, fing unto the Lord a new fong, for he hath done mar- 
vellous things ; his right hand and his holy arm hath gotten 
him the vidory. ' 

3. The Mediator's being ftiled the Sun, imports his high- 
ness. According to fome famous Philofophers, the fun 
is fo high above the earth, that a bullet fliot out of a gun, 
would be twenty-live or thirty-two years and a half, in 
palling from the earth to the fun : whether this calculati- 
on be jufl or not, w-e are fure he appears to us very high ; 
and fo is the fun of righteoufnefs : view him in his divi- 
nity, and he is the most high ; view him as Mediator, 
and he is made higher than the heavens, both as to place, 
and as to ftate : — As to place, he is exalted above the vifiblc 
heavens ; hence he is faid to be made higher than the heavens : 
for although the heaven cf heavens cannot co?itain him, as to 
thg immenfity of his divine nature j yet, as to his human 

l6o ^Christ, the Sun of Right eoufnefs^ 

nature, T^Jje heavens mufl receive him^ until the time of the 
reflitution of all things. — As to ft ate and condition^ he is ex- 
alted in power, dignity, authority, and rule, above the 
whole creation of God: he was for a feafon made lower 
than the angels^ but now he is vaftly above them ; Heb. i. 
7, 8. ""Thou madefl him a little lower than the angels^ viz. in 
refpeci: of ftate and condition ; "Thou crownedfl him with 
glory and honour ; ajid didfl fet him over the works of thy 
hands. His power is as large and extenfive as heaven and 
earth ; All power in heaven and in earth is given unto me* 
He has a power over hell, Rev. i. i8. — And have the keys 
cf hell and death. And there is a good reafon for it ; hav- 
ing drunk of the brook in the way^ it was reafonable he fliould 
lift up the head: having finiflied the Vv^ork of his humilia- 
tion, it was reafonable he fbould be advanced to an eftate 
of exaltation. The facrince which our Lord offered up 
was of fuch a fweet-fmelling favour unto God, that he 
cannot reward him too much for it; John v. 27. — And 
hath given him authority to execute judgment alfo^ hecaufe he 
is the Son of man* Why is it not rather faid, hecaufe he is 
THE Son of God, than hecaufe he is the Son of Man? 
The reafon is, as he is the Son of God, he hath no need 
of this gift, it belongs to him naturally and eiTentially ; 
but it is given to him becaufe he is the Son of man : He 
was in the form of God ^ and took upon him the form of a fer- 
vant ; — therefore God hath highly exalted him^ and given him 
a name which is ahove every 7iame, 

4. It imports his commonness. The fun, you know, 
is a common good to the world in general: juft fo, the 
fun of righteoufnefs is a common good to men ; Mark xvi. 
15. Go preach the gofpel to every creature ; he that helieveth^ 
and is baptized^ flmll he faved: that is. Go and tell every 
man under heaven, that Chrift is offered to him freely, 
gifted to him by God the Father ; and there is nothing re- 
quired of him in order to be really interefied in him, but 
only to receive him. Perhaps ye may meet with men fo 

arijing ivith Healing in his Wings. l6l 

nionftruoufly wicked, that they dliTerbut little from devils; 
and witli men fo f;ivage and wild, as to difFer little from 
the bcafts that periih ; neverthelefs ye are to make no ex-^ 
ccptions, but to tell all of them, that here is a cruciiied 
Saviour, with all faving benefits for them to come to feed 
on, and partake of freely: Ifa. xxv. 6. A?id in this moun^ 
tain Jhall the Lord of Hofls make unto all people a feafl of fat 
things^ a feafl of wines on the lees^ of fat things full of mar* 
roiv^ of wines on the lees well refined^ As God hath feC 
the natural fun in the heavens to enlighten the whole 
world ; in like manner, he hath fet the Sun of righte- 
oufncfs in the heavens of a gofpel difpenfation ; Ifa. xlix. 
6. / will alfo aive thee for a light to the Gentiles^ that thoit 
mayefl he my falvation to the ends of the earth. He is 
God's falvation, to which fallen men are allowed accefs, 
and not fallen angels, for whom there is none provided ; 
even as the city of refuge was the ordinance of God, for 
the fafety of every man-flayer, who had killed his neigh- 
bour unawares, and the brazen ferpenf for the cure of all 
that were bitten with the fiery ferpents, for both thefe 
were types of our Lord Jefus ; As Mcfes lifted up the ferpent 
in the wildernep^ fo mufl the Son of man he lifted up: and 
again, Viho hath fled for refuge to the hope fet before them,. 
This is a firm and flable ground of faith to all and every- 
one of you, that you may come, whatever be your cafe, 
to our Lord's light, and the brightnefs of his riling, and 
claim him and his, as your- own, for all the purpofes of fal- 
vation ; wliich if ye do not, ye fhall perifh eternally : for 
He that hclie'oeth not^ fhall he damned. The ground of this 
appointment of our Lord, to be the Saviour of the whole 
world by office, according to orthodox divines, is the fuf- 
ficiency and fuitablenefs of his obedience and death : this 
way of falvation is in itfelf wide enough for all the world 
to walk in. There is virtue enough in this remedy to cure 
all their difeafes, if thev will but touch him. by faith ; v.'hich 


1^2 Christ, the^ Sun of Right eoujnejs^ 

alfo is the only way to draw light from this fun, and re- 
frefliinent from this fountain of falvation. And according:- 
ly, the main reafon why God aclually conftituted him the 
Saviour of the world \yas, to put honour on our Lord for 
laying down his life for his fheep; Ifa. xlix. 6, 8. And be 
faid^ It is a light thing that thou Jhoiddjl he viy fervant^ to 
raife up the tribes of Jacobs and to rejlore the freferved of 
Jfrael : I will alfo give thee for a light to the Gentiles^ that 
thou mayeft be my falvation unto the end of the earth, 

5. Chrift's being filled the Sun ^ imports his sufficien- 
cy : one fun being fuilicient for the whole world, and one 
Mediator for all the men in the world : for our Lord is not 
only the omnipotent God, but an omnipotent Saviour j 
not only the all-fuflicient God, but an all-fufficient Saviour; 
and hence faid to be able to fave to the uttermojl. His a- 
tonement is of fuilicient eilicacy to fatlsfy for all the evils 
of all the men in the world ; his blood being, by reafon of 
the intimate conjunclion of the divine and human natures 
in one perfon, the blood of God. — There is a fufficiency 
of merit in him ; not only a fulnefs of fitisfacllou to deliver 
from all punifhment, but alfo a fulnefs of merit to procure 
all good : for he obtained eternal redemption for us. — There 
is a fufficiency o^ grace in him : as no lins are too heinous 
for his merits to pardon ; fo there is no obftinacy of heart 
too flrono: for his s:racc to fubdue : were thev ever fo vile, 
he is able to cleanfe them ; ever fo black, lils grace can 
beautify them ; ever fo wicked, he can reclaim them, and 
make them willing in the day of his power ; yea, were they 
ever fo much loil, the children of wrath, the vcflels of 
Satan, and heirs of hell, he can fave them, and pluck 
them from the brink of hell: yea, when they feem, in fome 
meafure, to be fallen into it, and the devouring flames arc 
catching hold on them, he can pluck them from it into 
the midft of his heavenly paradife and glory. — There is a 
fufHciency of patience in him, to bear all the injuries we 
have done him, or can do ; — a fufficiency of %(}orth and eic- 

arifmg ivith Healing in his Wings, 


cellency in him, to fatisfy the moft enlarged defires of our 
hearts: — a fuiEciency of wifdom in him, to direct us in the 

moft difficult fteps of our lives. O then, what vain 

work is it to fct up other faviours bcfides him ! to fet up 
the law and mens own duties, as tho' he and his grace 
were not fufficicnt to fave of thcmfelves : this is a diflio- 
nour to our Redeemer ; for he that goes to a muddy ftrcam 
to wafli hirnfelf, dcfpifes the pure fountain he hath in his 
own dwelling : yea, to fct up any other atonements, or fa- 
tisfaclions, is a contempt of the wifdom of God, in his 
ordination of his eternal Son ; of the holinefs and juftice 
of God in accepting him, as if after all it needed fome ad- 
dition from creatures to make it complete, 

6. It imports his beauty and glory. The fun is a 
very beautiful and glorious creature, the ornament of the 
heavens ; fo our Lord, the Sun of righteoufnefs, is per- 
feclly beautiful ; and hence when the daughters of Jerufa- 
lem queftioned the Spoufe, What is thy Beloved f after an 
enumeration of his particular excellencies, flie fums all up 
with this, yea, he is altogether lovely. In him there is no- 
tiling which is not amiable ; and in him is every thing 
that is amiable. The beauties of our Lord Jefus as God, 
and God-man Mediator, infinitely furpafs thefe of all crea- 
tures ; Col. i. 17. He is before all things, in glory, digni- 
ty, and excellency, as well as in nature and order : " Yea, 
as godly llutherfoord fays, if heaven and earth, and ten 
thoufand heavens, even round about thefe heavens that 
now are, were all in one garden of pai^dife, decked 
" with all the faireft flowers and trees that can come 
forth from the art of the almighty hirnfelf; and itt but 
our one flower that groweth out of the root of Jeffe, 
befide that orchard of plcafure, en,e look of him, one 
view, one tafte, one fmell of his amiable godhead, 
would infinitely go beyond the fmcU, colour, beauty^ 
" and lovelinefs of that paradife." Would linners but 
4raw near and behold his beauty, the uncreated white aixcJ 








'l6^ Christ, the Sun of Right ecufnefs, 

red in his countenance, it would draw their fouls after him : 
%vords are too ihort to exprefs his love and lovelinefs. 

7. His being ftilcd the Sun^ imports his constant 
SAMENESS. The moon has its waxings and weanings ; but 
Ihe fun is always the fame: juft fo, the Sun of righteouf- 
jiefs is ftill the fame • Heb. xiii. 8. Jefus Chnft^ the fame 
"^efterday^ and to-day ^ and for ever. He is the fame in his 
cffence ; and hence he ailumes that name to himfelf, / am; 
3efore Abraham was, I am: and this likewife, I am that 
I AM, Exod. iii. 14.; which implies, that he continues in 
the fame glory of the divine nature and effence ; he is the 
fame in all his attributes and perfedions : his mercy is un- 
changeable ; His mercy endureth for ever : — his ftrength ; and 
therefore he is called the rock of ag-es : — his righteoufnefs ; 
Jiis righteoufnefs cndiireth for ever : — his love ; for ivhom he 
Joves^ he loves unto the end. He alters his difpenfations in- 
deed, but not his love: he rebukes, chafiens, hides his 
face from, and fmites his people with a fenfe of his indigo 
jiation ; but woe would be to them if he did not rejl in his 
love : for it is becaufe he is God, and changes not^ that they 
are not confumed. Thus he is the fame in all his perfecli- 
ens ; for this is an attribute that like a filken ftring, thro' 
;a chain of pearl, runneth through all the reft. He is un- 
^changeable in his perfon : he is the fame in his mediatorial 
offices ; as king he fball reign for ever and ever, and there 
Hiall be no end of his kingdom ; as prieft, T^he Lord hath 
fwor7i^ and luill not repent^ he is a frieft for ever : he is a 
prophet for ever ; The Lord flmll he thy everlafting light ^ 
£ind thy God thy glory. And truly this is the Church's 
comfort, in the faddeft cafes, that however the face of the 
creatures be chanc^ed to them, our Lord will be ftill the 
fame : with him is no change, paft or prefent ; he remains, 
as fchoolm.en fpeak, in the fame indivinble point of eter- 
Tiity, and our fafety lies in God's immutability; we can^ 
pot perifh utterly becaufe he abides the fame. 

8. It may import his usefulness. The fun is a very: 

^ ariftng ivith Healing in his Wings, i6j: 

xai'eful creature ; and fo is the Sun of righteoufnefs. What 
is the fun ufeful fur? 

(i.) lie is ufetul for llhimination. The fun is the great 
luminary which God hath appointed to give light to the ^ 
inhabitants of the world ; juil fo, our Lord Jefus, the Sun : 
or righteoufnefs, He is the true Ught^ that lighteneth every 
man that cometh into the world. The prefence of the fun 
makes day, and his abfence night; juft fo, the prefence 
of Chrift makes day in the foul of a child of God, and his 
abfence night. The foul is by nature in darkncfs, and 
never fees fui's blacknefs, its own vilenefs, grace's excel- 
lency, nor ChriiVs beauty, till his light btam down upon 
it, 2 Cor. iv. 6. For God who commanded the lig^ht to fhine 
out of darknefs, hath fhined in our hearts^ to give the li'^ht of 
the knowledge of the glory of God ^ in the face of Jefus Chrift, 
The darknefs of unbelief, of ignorance, of error, of im- 
morality, and of defpondency evanifh at the rifing of the 
Sun of righteoufnefs; even as the clouds and darknefs of 
the night evanifh at the rifing of the natural iun. 

(2.) The fun is ufeful for warming this f)dl:sm with his 
influences. As the fun has light in him, fo he likewife 
has heat, which he communicates along with the light; 
fo divine heat accompanies divine light: we luve an in- 
ilance of this in the two difciples, Luke xxiv. \i.\ they 
were in a freezing temper, till Chrift overtook them ; but 
when they had continued awhile in that fpiritual fim-fhine, 
their hearts melted into love : Did not our heart bun with- 
in us^ while he talked with us by the way^ and while he o- 
fened to us the fcripturesf In our Lord's interview with 
the woman of Samaria at Jacob's well, we find thatfo foon 
as he had revealed himfelf to her, / that f peak unto thee 
am he^ her heart kindled intq an holy flame, immediately 
file left the well and her water-pot, and running to the 
men of her city, fpoke to them out of the abundance of 
her heart. Come fee a man which told me all things that 
fvcr I did^ Is not this the Christ? As we are darknefs 

J 66 Christ, the Sun of Righteoufnefs^ 

without his light, fo we are coldnefs without his heat. 
Thus when our Lord was away from the Spoufe, her heart 
was cold ; but whenever he lliined, her heart burned with 
love, ftrong as death. When the prophet had lain a while 
upon the Shunamite's dead child, his flefh waxed warm : 
juft fo here, though the foul be cold as death, if our Lord 
but once ftretch hinifelf on it, it prefently becomes warm, 
and is raifed to nen^nefs of life. 

(3.) The fun is ufeful for fruEllfying the vegetable cre- 
ation. The fun. by his influences, caufes things to grow 
up in abundance; and to this Bildad alludes. Job viii. 16. 
He is green before the fun ^ and his branch fhooteth forth in his 
garden : juft {o^ this fpiritual fun makes thofe who are un- 
der his beams to become fruitful in good works ; The righ- 
teous fhall floirlfh like the fahn tree^ he fhall grow like the 
cedar in Leba^ion, By nature we are barren ; there is not 
one good blolTom growing on us : but whenever the Sun 
of righteoufiefs arifes, he makes us bring forth the inter- 
nal fruits of love, joy, peace, long-fuffering, gentlenefs, 
goodnefs, /aith ; and alfo the external fruits of good dif- 
courfe, Piov. xv. 4. A wholefome tongue is a tree of life: 
gracious foeeches fall from the lips of a godly man, as fruit 
from a tree : And likewife the fruit of good works. Col. 
i. 10. That ye may walk worthy of the Lord unto all f leafing^ 
being fruitful in every good work. All the inftructions of 
faithful minifters are to no purpofe without him ; / have 
-planted^ fays Paul, Apollos watered ; but God gave the in- 
creafe. All the dews of friendly admonitions are to no 
purpofe without him ; all the waterings of godly educiui- 
on derive their fuccefs from hioi. If the faints bear any 
fruit, they are beholden to Chrift for it; and accordingly 
he calls their graces his grace, Song v. i . / have gathered 
my tir^rrh with my f pice, 

(4.) The fun is ufeful for elevating or exhaling vapours 
from the earth ; juft fo, the Sun of righteoufnefs is poflef- 
fed of this virtue : he it is that exhales and lifts up the 

arijlng 'with Healing in his Wings. i6y 

earthly hearts of men to heavenly things ; Through whom 
I am crucified to the worlds and the world to me. The heart 
of man naturally is fo deep buried in the earth, that if 
Chrift did not by his heat which he fends down in his or- 
dinances, lift it up, it would never ha\e one right thought 
of heaven : he has an attra6i:ive power to draw the hearts 
of men up to himfelf ; And /, /// he lif^d up^ will draw 
all men unto me, Alas ! our hearts are ai. heavy as lead ; 
but if once a beam of the love of this Sun cF righteoufnefs 
fall upon them, they will be drawn up to hmfelf ; / will 
draw with the cords of love. . \ 

(5.) The fun is ufeful for confolation: accorjingly he is 
fometimes in fcripture put for comfort; Job ixx. 28. /" 
went mourning without the fun : I food up^ and Iried in the 
congregation. And Solomon tells us, that Ligh^ is fweet^ 
and it is a pleafint thing to behold the fun : juft fo,t)ur Lord 
Jefus hath a comforting virtue; and hence he is ciled, The 
confolation of IfraeL — It is our Lord Jefus that remo es from 
his people every thing that is uncomfortable : — is iinmatter 
of trouble to them ? Chrift removes that ; wretc\d man 
that I am^ who fy all deliver me from the body of this ^eath! 
I thank God through Jefus Chrijl our Lord^ Rom. vii. 2^25*: 
— does temptation trouble them ? O, yes ; by reafon \ere- 
gf they go in trouble and heavinefs of fpirit : well,our 
Lord removes that ; Si?Jion^ Simon, Satan hath defred to )ave: 
you, — but I have prayed for thee that thv faith fall not ;--is 
defertion a trouble to them ? yes ; there is nothing fo w- 
comfortable to them as that : it was one of the foreft trils 
to our Lord himfelf; and hence, tho' when his enemis 
fcourged, buffeted, and fmote him ; yea, nailed him t 
the crofs. He opened not his mouth : yet when his Fath^ 
hid his face from him, he cried out, ¥xy God, my God, wh^ 
hajl thou forfaken me : — juft fo, it is to the gracious foul \ 
Thou didft hid thy face, and I was trdiibled: well^ it is ow^ 
Lord that removes that ; For a fmall moment have I forfaken . 
tbee^ but with great mercies will I gather thee^ It is omt 


1 68 Christ, the Sun of Right con/nefs^ 

Lord that brings every thing comfortable to them :— is par-*- 
don comfortable ? it is Cbriir that brings that ; In-cvbomwe 
have redemption through his hiood : — is peace comfortable? 
lie brings that ; for he is cur peace : — is liberty comfortable? 
he brings that, St^nd fafi in tl)e liberty wherewith Chrijl 
hath made you free — is hope of heaven comfortable? yes; 
We rejoice in hope f the (glory of God : it is Chrift that brings 
that ; Chrift in jou the hope of glory. He is the iirft inlet 
of comfort to the foul, the preferver, and the'reftorer of 
comfort to tie foul after dejeclion and drooping: I iviil 
reft ore comfor to him and to his mourners. 

2dly^ Tie fecond thing on this Head was, to enquire 
why our Rdeemer is called the Sun of Righteoufnefs, And, 
I. He s called the Sun of righteoufnefs, on account of 
his perfecion and excellency beyond the natural fun ; and fo 
fome thhk there is a Hebraifm in the words ; the Sun of 
rio'hteoujefs ; that is, the righteous, the abfolutely perfect 
Sun. 'he natural fun fliines but in one hemifphere at 
once; ^ut the Sun of righteoufnefs is able to fliine over 
the wole earth at once. Though there be many parts of 
the \orld in which Chrift hath never appeared, yet his 
winp are large enough to overfpread the whole world. 
The^atural fun gives light, but does not give fight; but 
the^un of righteoufnefs gives both. If a man want the 
fens of feeing, he hath no more benefit by the fun, in re- 
fpil of light, than if there were no fun at all. Let the 
fvi's beams be darted with never fo much force upon blind 
Jirtimaeus, his eyes will not be thereby opened. The 
jitural fun, hath, in fome cafes, noxious effects ; but the 
un of righteoufnefs has none : the natural fun defaces the 
)eauty of man, makes the fpirits faint, as it did Jonah's, 
:hap. iv. 8. ; fcorches the fruits of the earth ; but the Sun 
of righteoufnefs hath no hurtful quality ; his beams nei- 
ther tawn the face, nor make the fpirits faint: he ripens 
,the fruits of grace in the foul, but he never withers them. 
The natural fun is inanimate, it hath neither the rational. 

arifing with Healing in his Wings. l6^ 

fenfitive, nor vegetative life ; but our Lord lives for ever: 

/ a?n be that I'lveth^ and was dead ; and behold^ I am al'ivd. 
for evermore : yea, he is the fountain of life ; / am the re-- 
furredlo7i and the life. The natural fun is only ufcful for 
this life, but is of no ufe in heaven ; 'There they need not the> 
fun by day: but our Lord is the light of that place; Thz 
Lord flj all be thine everlajling lights and thy God thy glory. 

2 . He is called the 8un of righteoufnefs, on account o£ 
the rectitude of his nature; Pfal. xlv. 7. Thou lovefl righte^ 
oifnefs and hatsft wickednefs.. Our Lord is the holy and 
juil One : he hath not, never had, and never fhall have 
tke leall fpot of unrighteoufnefs in his own perfon. la 
his individual perfon there are two natures, the one divine 
and the other human ; and he is righteous in both: he is 
infinitely righteous as God ; yea, he is not only righteous^ 
but righteoufnefs : he is efientially righteous ; his righteouf- 
nefs is himfelf. A man's righteoufnefs and his being are 
two things ; the aian may fubfill; without righteoufnefs r 
all men by nature, and while nothing but nature, though, 
much fublimated and refined, if not converted, are un- 
righteous ; but it is as impoffible for God not to be righ- 
teous, as not to be. He was finitely righteous as man: 
every faculty of his foul was elevated to the highefi: degree 
t)f iiolinefs ; and every member of his bgdy employed to 
the moft holy purpofes. His human nature was holy by 
the union of the divine, and holy bv the effuiibn of the 
Spirit, whofc oiiice it is to fanclify ; Therefore that holy 
things ivhich fhall be born of tha\ flmll be called the Son of 
God: if it had not been fo, he could neither have redeem- 
ed himfelf from death, nor yet favcd us from wrath. Thus 
his freedon:i from taint and his conjunction with the fal- 
nqfs of the Deity, are linked together in demonftrating the ^ 

efficiency of his blood, for purging our confciencies from 
dead works; Ileb. ix. i^. How much more fij all the blood of 
Chrifi, IV ho through the eternal Spirit^ offered bi?nfelfivithcut 

Y ' *^ 

jyo Christ, the Sun of Righteoufnefs^ 

fpot to God, purge your confcience from dead ivorks to ferve the 
living God I 

3. He is denominated the Sun of righteoufncfs, becaufe 
of his righteous adminijlration ; Pfal. xlv. 6. 'Tky throne^ 
God^ is for ever and ever ; the fceptre of thy kingdom is a 
right fceptre. The rule and governmeni of Chrift is a fcep- 
tre of righteoufnefs ; becaufe all the laws whereby he rules 
are righteous, holy, juft, full of benignity and truth ; and 
all his adminifriations of grace and mercy, in the conver- 
fion, pardon, fanclincation, chaftifement, and prefervati- 
on of his people; and all his adminiilrations of juftice in 
deftroying his enemies, are righteous, holy, unblameable, 

. and good ; and as fuch will be glorioufly manifefted and 
difplayed, at the laft day, though they are now reproach- 
ed and defpifed. The laws by which our Lord proceeds 
are righteous, and his adminiftrations are righteous ; and 
they ali proceed from an habitual love to righteoufncfs and 
hatred of iniquity in his own nature. 

4. Chrift is called the Sun of rightcoufnefs, in refpefl 
of his people^ he is their righteoifnefs ; Jer. xxiii. 6. This is 
the name whereby he flmll be called^ The Lord our righte- 
ousness. And he is fo in two refpec^s. 

(i.) He is their righteoufncfs in refpect oi juftifi cation^ 
or their juftifying righteouinefs before the Lord. By the 
* fin of Adam, and the breach of the firft covenant, righte- 
oufncfs was gone quite out of the world ; there was no- 
thing of a law righteoufnefb to be found in or amongft all 
the race of mankind: if God would condefcend to fave 
the whole world for one righteous man, as he once oiFer- 
ed to fave Sodom for ten, he could not be found. The 
apoftle divides all the Avorld into Jews and Gentiles, Rom. 
iii. 9, 10.; and he is not afraid to impeach them all as 
guilty ; They are all under fin ; there is none righteous^ no 
not one : not the wifeft Philofophcr among the Gentiles, 
nor the precifeft Pharifce amjong the Jews ; nay, nor the 
holieft faint tjiat ever lived on earth, car* fxand righteous 

ariftng nvith Healing in his Wings. lyi 

before God's bar ; Pfal. cxliil. 2 . Enkr not into judgment 
with thy fervant ; for in thy fight JJmll no man livrng he jufli- 
fied. And therefore the gate to eternal life and happinefs 
was fliut againft the wliolc world : but, behold, our Lord 
Jefus brought in an everlajiing right coufnefs ; a righteoufnefs 
every way anfwerable to the law's demands. — l)id the law 
demand perfect hohnefs of nature ? it hath its demand in 
Chrift ; for he was originally holy : Such an high priefl be- 
came us^ who was holy^ harmlefs^ undefiled^ and feparate 
fromfmners. — Did the law require perfe6l obedience to its 
commands ? that it hath in Chrift ; For he did no violence^ 
neither was guile found in his mouth, — Did the law require 
fetisfaclion to juftice, or the execution of its penalty? it 
has its demand in him ; For he was wounded for our tranf 
greffions : the juft fuffered for the unjujl. This righteoufnefs 
being reckoned to their account, upon their union with 
Chrift, they are juflified, as if they had wrought it out 
themfelves ; Surely f!?all one fay ^ in the Lord have I rightC" 
oufnefs and frength, O what little reafon have believers 
to be proud of their juftification ! they are indeed accepted^ 
but it is in the beloved : they are highly dignified and exalt- 
ed ; but it is not in their own rags, but in the Redeemer's 
robes. It was he, and not they, that magnified the law 
and made it honourable ; and hence the faints in glory will 
eternally caft their crowns at his feet, faying, Unto him 
that loved iis^ and wajhed us from our fins in his own blood ; 
and hath made us kings and priefls unto God and his Father ; 
unto him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 

(2.) Chrift is his people's righteoufnefs in refpecl of 
thdv find if cat ion J or their righteoufnefs of fancfification ; 
I Cor. i. :^o. But of h'im are ye in Chrift Jfus^ who of God 
is made unto us sanctification. Our Lord, as was juil 
now fiid, is made of God to us righteoufnefs, complete 
and perfect righteoufnefs, whereby our obligation to pu- 
nllhnienl: is diffolved, and a folid foundation laid for pcac 
of confcience. This, although it b(^ a great mercy, yet a 

Y 2 - * ' 


'172^ Christ,^/j^ Sun of Right eoufnefsj 

lone cannot make us completely happy ; for though a man 
fhould never be damned for iin, neverthelefs it is a hell 
lipon earth to be under the dominion and pollution of fin: 
to complete therefore the happinefs of his people, he is not 
only their righteoufnefs, to remove their guilt, but he is 
their fanclification to relieve them from the pollution of 
their corruptions: he comes both by water and by blood; 
jiot by blood only, but alfo by water^ purging as well as 
pardoning: he is not only their righteoufnefs imputed, but 
their righteoufnefs inherent. — He is fo meritorioujly : Grace 
5s as truly the purchafe of Chrift as glory ; he hath bought 
liolinefs as well as happinefs ; for their fanclification coil 
no lefs the price of his blood than their falvation ; Eph. v. 
525, 26. Even as Chrift alfo loved the churchy a7id gave 
himfelf for ?V, that he might fandify and cleanfe it wlh the 
^ji'aflnng of ivater by the word. — He is the material caufe of 
at 'y his blood being the foul's iaver in which it is waflied 
snd made white as the fnow. — He is the examplary caufe 
of it ; for our fanclification is according to the copy or 
pattern of holinefs which is in Chrift Jefus himfelf ; John 
1. 16. And of his fulnefs have all ive received^ and grace for 
Ti'^ce, — And he is the efficient caufe ; for it is our Lord, 
•who, by his Spirit, through the ordinances of his grace, 
■works holinefs in his people : he digs up the root of fin, 
nnd plants the root of grace in the foul; i Cor. vi. 11. 
Andfuch vaerefome of you ; hut ye are ivafJjed^ hut ye arefandi- 
fiedy in the name of the Lord Jfus^ and by the Spirit of our 
God: and it is he that both preferves and carries it on, 
frorri one degree to another, till it arrives at perfeclion in 
glory. O how little reafon the faints have to be proud 
of their ov/n holinefs I they are indeed faints here as truly, 
though not fo fully, as in heaven ; but no thanks to them 
for this, but to our Lord, who reflores likenefs to God in 
fanctification, as well as the love and favour of God in 
juftification* Their very graces fliould humble them as 
well as their fins; the latter, becaufe they are theirs; the 

ari/mg with Healing in his Wings. 173 

former, becaufe they are not theirs. Sanclificatlon is a great 
blefline ; but was this web woven out of their own bowels? 
O, no ; but it is the work of the Spirit : and hence the fe- 
veral parts of hoHnefs are called, The fruits of the Spirit. 

5. Chrill: is the Sun of lighteoufnefs in refpecl of God 
the Father^ whofe righteoufnefs is declared and made con- 
fpicuous in him. 

( I .) God's viizdidive or avenging juilice is effential to him ; 
fo that he cannot difmifs the guilty unpuniihed : of this 
there feems to have been an univerfal prefumpuion among 
mankind ; and from thence have fprung thefe many inven- 
tions of iinners to appeafe the juftice, to conciliate the fa- 
vour of the Deity. This he difplayed in the eternal puniih- 
ment of the angels that finned, and the cafting Adam out 
of paradife, an emblem alfo of eveiiafting ruin : but never 
w^as it difplayed fo clearly as in the Sun of righteoufnefs. 
In all other inflances there is a difplay of juftice without 
mercy ; but here a glorious refplendency of juitice and 
mercy ; of the one in punifhing the Surety, of the other 
in pardoning the finner. The apparent inconliftency be- 
tween the righteoufnefs of God, and the falvation of fin- 
ners, wherewith the confciences of awakened perfons are 
exercifed and tempted, and which is the rock on which 
many of them fplit themfelves unto eternal ruin, is hereby 
removed and taken away. In his crofs was vindictive 
juftice executed and manifefted; and through his triumph, 
grace and mercy are exerted to the uttermoft. This is 
that glory that raviflies and folaces the hearts of them that 

(2.) God's re?nunerative or r^'iu^r J//; {r juftice or righteouf- 
nefs is confpicuous in him ; for, Becaufe he hianbled him- 
felf to the deaths God hath highly exalted him» By his doing 
and dying he had brought more glory to God than ever 
he received by all the works of his hands ; and therefore 
God advanced him above every creature : he had perform- 
ed a talk that would have overcome the whole tribe of 

174 Chkist, the Sun of Right eoufncfsj 

angels ; and therefore God, the righteous judge, crowned 
hi?n with glory and honour^ and fo demonftrated his remu- 
nerative juftice: only when I fpeak of his being exalted, 
I do not mean, that his divine nature was exalted by an 
addition of glory, but only by manifeftation. The divine 
glory of Chrift in his perfon, belongs not to his exaltati- 
on, though the manifeftation of it doth ; fo he religned 
not the divine glory of his perfon, whilft he was in this 
world, but the declaration of it he laid afide, till he was 
declared to be the Son of God with poiver^ by his refurreBion 
from the dead. When the fun is under a total ecclipfe, he 
lofeth nothing of his native beauty, hght, and glory ; he 
is ftill the fame that he was from the beginning, a great 
light to rule the day ; only he appears to us as a dark and 
ufelefs meteor: and fo was it with the divine nature of 
our Lord. It is therefore Chrift in his human nature that 
is exalted, by a real addition of glory to it ; not that it is 
deified, or made a God \ but it is exalted in a fulnefs of 
all divine perfections ineffably above the glory of men or 
angels : it is incomprehenfibly nearer God than they all, 
having communications from God in glorious light, love, 
and power above them all ; and thus demonftrating the 
glory of God's rigbteoufnefs. We nov/ proceed, 

IT. To the fecond Head in the method, which was to 
fpeak of the arlfing of this Sun of rigbteoufnefs. And 
here we propofe, firft to fpeak of the time of his arifing ; 
and fecondly, why his arifmg is compared to that of the 

\ft^ We are to fpeak a little concerning the time of bis 
arifing. And, 

I. He arofe in the morning of time^ in the firft promife,* 
immediately after the fall ; Gen. iii. 15. The feed of the -wo- 
man fJmll bruife the head cf the ferpent. That this was the 
Son of God, or the San of rigbteoufnefs, intimating his 
future incarnation and crucifixion, is evident, becaufe God 

arifing ivith Healing in his Wings. 175 

abfolutely confidered, is not a promifing, but an avenging 
God, a confuming fire to all the workers of iniquity ; and 
all the promifes ot God are in Chrift, yea, and amen. This 
promife was the firft, the day-break of falvation ; and the 
firft gofpel fermon that ev er was preached to finners : here 
the day of falvation began to dawn upon the world, and 
the day-fpring from on high firft to vifit us. The lluice 
of grace and mercy, whofe ftreams ever fince have made 
glad the city of God, was then firft opened to finners. No 
fooner had man finned, than his mind, which before was 
a lamp of light, became dark, yea, darknefs itfelf 5 Once 
were ye darknefs : but beheld, the Sun of righteoufnefs im- 
mediately arifes to him, with healing under his wings. O 
the riches of the glory of God's grace to poor wTctched 
man, that would not fufTer him to lie defponding in this 
dungeon of darknefs ; that would not fupprefs the yearn- 
ing of his bowels of mercy to miferable undone men for; 
one day • but in that very day in which they had extin- 
guifhcd the light of creation, he would afibrd him the 
light of redemption ! 

We misfht have added here, that he arofe alfo in the 
types of the ceremonial law. Which were a Jhadow of things 
to come\ but the body is of Chrift ; — and in the prediflions and 
prophefies concerning him: — but in comparifon of what is 
now come to pafs, thefe were only a few fcattered and 
faint rays ; and, in a great meafure, The myflery was hid 
from ages and generations. It was then comparatively fpeak- 
ing, night with the church ; and they could not ftedfaft- 
ly look to the end of that which was afterwards aboliflied: 
and hence the Spoufe lifts up an ardent prayer. Song ii. 
17. Until the day break and the fhadows flee away^ turn my 
beloved. — Accordingly, the Sun has actually appeared above 
our horizon, and the darknefs and the fhadows of the Old- 
Teftament have fled away. Which leads us to obferve, 

2 . He arofe in the morning of the fulnefs of time in his 
incarnation, to which the words of our tc^t have au im- 

IT 6 CHKisTy the Sun of Righteoufnefs^ 

mediate refped ; Gal. iv. 4. But when the fulnefs of the 
time was come^ God fent forth his Son. This was the moil 
glorious morning that ever the eye of man beheld ; a more 
glorious one than when the foundations of the world were 
laid : and hence an hoft of angels was difpatched from the 
throne of glory, to proclaim the news of it to the fliepherdg 
feeding their flocks ; Luke ii. lo, 11. Behold I bring you 
good tidings of great joy ; for unto you is born this day in the 
city of David ^ a Saviour^ which is Chrijl the Lord, O the 
glory of this morning! confidering the abfolute perfecti- 
ons of the divine nature, and its infinite diftance from the 
whole creation. What heart can conceive, what tongue 
exprefs, the glory of the condefcenfion of our Lord in ap- . 
pearing in our nature, taking it to be his own, in order 
to difcharge the office of Mediator in our behalf! The word 
ivas made flefh and dwelt among us^ and we beheld his glory. 
We may think little of it, but as it is the grief of devils, 
io it is the admiration of all the angels around the throne; 
and hence they cried out, Holy^ holy^ holy is the Lord of 
Hojls^ the whole earth is full of his glory. And why fo ? 
but becaufe Chrift the brightnefs of the Father's glory, is 
come down from heaven to earth. God made manifest 
IN THE flesh! what can equal it! what can be like it! It 
is the glory of the Chriftian religion, and the animating 
ibul of all evangelical truth. 

3. He fliall arife in the morning of the refurredion^ Tit. 
ii. 13. Looking for that bleffed hope^ and the glorioiis appear-' 
ing of the great Gody even our Saviour Jefus Chrift, That 
will be a glorious appearance of our Redeeilier indeed, 
when the Son of man fh all come in his own glory ^ in the glory 
ef his Father y and in the glory of all the holy angels ^ to be 
admired in all them that believe. His firft appearance in the 
flefh was fo obfcure, that it was fcarce obferved, much 
lefs underilood by the world ; this will be fo confpicuous 
and glorious, as to be feen of all. — His firil appearance 
was in humility ^ he came rising upon (in afs^ and upon a 

arifing tvith Healing in his Wingi, iyf 

tvh the fols of an afs; but now on the clouds of heaven z 
then he came with a few fifliermen, perfons of mean ranlc 
and condition in the world, as his attendants; but now 
with leirions of ani^els, and ten thoufands of his faints r 
then he came in tks form of a fervant to be judged ; now 
as the Son of God, and fovereign Judge of all. At firff 
he came to hear the fins of many^ but then he fhall appear 
\\\ii fecond time without fin unto fahation; not bearing a bur- 
den, but bringing a difcharge ; not as a Surety, but as a 
pay-mafter ; not as a fuffercr, but as a conqueror trampling 
over death, the devil, and hell. O what a comfortable 
rifing will that be to the godly ! and hence it is fometimes 
cxprefl'ed by lights which is a very comfortable and chear- 
ing thing ; Light is fown for the righteous^ But what a 
terrible riling to the ungodly ! and hence it is fometimesr 
expreft by lire ; He ivill come in flaming fre^ to take vengd- 
tince on them who know not God, 

w^. He arifes in the morning o^ igofpel difpenfation ; johit 
iii. 14. As Mofes lifted up the fer pent in the wildernefs^ even, 
fo miifl the Son of man be lifted up. Wherever the gofpel 
of the grace of God is preached, our Redeemer arifes to 
fmners of mankind with healing under his Vv^ings ; and the 
people who fit in darknefs fee a great light. — To whom 
foever the gofpel comes, the Sun of righteoufnefs appears 
as being in the word of the gofpel difcernable by faith, 
llom. X. 6, 7, 8. But the righteoufnefs of faith fpeaketh on 
this wife^ Say not in thine hearty Who flmll afcend into hea- 
ven f (that /j, to bring Chrijl down from above ; J or^ Who 
Jhall defend into the deep? (that is^ to bring up Ch rift from 
the dead:) But what faith it? The word is nigh thee, even 
In thy mouth, and in thy heart ; that is the word of faith 
which we preach. The gofpel is juft the looking-glafs held 
before the eyes of fmners, in which they may fee him ; 
2 Cor. iii. 1 8. Beholding as in a glafs the glory of the Lord, 
we are changed into the fame image, fro?n glory to glory, ever^ 
<7i" hy the Spirit of the Lord. And whenever the facramentf' 


178 Christ, the Su7i of Right eoufncfs^ 

are duly adminiftred, he arifes to tliem that fear him. As 
in the word, he is prefented to the ear; fo in the iacra- 
ment, he is prefented to the eyes and palate, by the fym- 
bols and facramental acts of his own inftitution : he is evi^ 
dently fet forth crucifed before yoii^ that ye may fee him ; 
for, 'This is my body broken for you ; and this cup is the new 
tefament irt my blood. There he appears, though not in a 
corporeal and carnal, yet, in a fymbolical and fpiritual 
manner, to the faith of the fearers of his name. And 
glorious lights are to be had of him there; And they told 
ivhat things ivere done in the ivay^ and how he was known 
of them in the breaking of bread. 

5 . He arifes in the morning of converfion^ when he draws 
aiide the veil, and makes the light of the knowledge of 
his glory to fhine into the hearts of his people. — He arifes 
in the work of faving illumiliation, not only giving them 
light but iight ; not only giving them an outward objec- 
tive revelation, but an inward fubjcclive revelation of him- 
felf; Gal. i. 15, 16. It f leafed God to reveal his Son in me. 
He prefents himfelf to the underilanding, and enables it 
to take a view of him: he prefents the object, and prepares 
the faculty: he flaflies the lidit, and takes the film from 
the eyes of the mind, which hinders the reception of it ; 
The God who at firft commanded the light to fhine out of darknefs ^ 
hath flnned into your hearts. This is a new light in which 
Chrift appears far othenvife than he did before ; formerly 
they faw no beauty, and now they fee nothing but beau- 
ty ; formerly, he was a root fp rung out of a dry ground, now 
he is altogether lovely. It is a very affecting light, a light 
that hath heat and powerful influence with it, which makes 
deep impreffions on the heart ; and hence they are faid to 
be called out of darknefs into his marvellous light, 

6. He arifes in the morning of renewed manifeftations : 
as the natural fun is very often under a cloud, fo is the 
Sun of righteoufnefs. He fees meet, in fovereignty, to 
turn about the back of his throne, and his face- cannot be 

arifing *with Healing in his WingT. 179 

fccn ; but oftener he is provoked to hide himfelf as he did 
from Ephraim, Ifa. Ivii. 17. For the t7nqiuty of his covefoiif 
nefs was I ivroth^ and f mote him : I hid ?ne, and was wroth. 
Clouds of fin, guilt, and temptation, do intercept the 
rays of the Sun of righteoufnefs by times : fo when he, in 
fovereign love and kindnefs, renews the manifeftations of 
himfelf to them ; he doth, as it were, arife in the hemi- 
fphere of the foul, lliewing himfelf through the lattecfs of 
ordinances, making the mountains of provocation to fcat- 
ter, and the clouds of fm, guilt, and temptation fly off, 
and is fecn in his glory as formerly. ' 

2dly^ The fecond branch of this Head was to enquire, 
why his arifing is compared to that of the Sun. And, 

1. The fun rifes freely^ he is under no conftraint or 
force in riling; for, fince the beginning, he attends unto 
the law of the great Creator ; Like a bridegroom coming out 
of his chamber^ he rejoiceth to run his race : So the glorious 
Sun of righteoufnefs rifes freely ; he came to do his Father's 
will, and it was with infinite delight. The thoughts of 
this he entertained in his mind from eternity ; for, frotn 
this date. He rejoiced in the habitable farts of the earthy and 
his delights were with the fins of men. With fo much free- 
dom did he acl in his rifing in the morning of time, when 
he appeared in flcih, that before the fixed period came, 
he looked like one impatient ; and, as if fond to antici- 
pate the beginning of the day, he broke forth from behind 
the cloud of ceremonial inftitutions, in occafional anoear- 
^nces, as the Son of man: fo he did to Abraham, when 
fitting in his tent-door. He arofe freely ia the fulnefs of 
time, and came in obedience to his Father's will ; John x. 
10. I am come that they murht have life. Freely doth he 
arife upon the dawning of grace in the foul, which makes 
the finner willingly fubmit, according to thepromife, PfaL 
ex. 3. 7hy -people fJ:)aU be willing' in the day of thy power, 

2. The natural fun doth rife irrefijlibly ; fo doth the 
Sun of righteoufnefs. — " And as all the attempts of Man- 

Z 2 

l8o Christ, the Sun of Right eoufnefs^ 

J:ind cannot hinder the natural fun to arife fo neither can 
all the meanefs, fielth pollution, guilt and rebellion of men 
pervert the rifing of the Sun of right eoufnefs." Though 
JVdam's fin feemed to have beclouded his fky for ever, in^- 
ilantly the Sun of righteoufnefs arifes, and diifufes healing 
to the difeafed head, in the original promife. — When the 
jnorning of the fulnefs of time approached he made his 
appearance, after a delay of four thoufand years, when 
fome might have thought the time was expired, and the 
promife buried in oblivion ; and though the root feemed 
'withered, yet this branch of righteoufnefs fprang,up. Nor 
could the grave, though hewn out of a rock, and ftiut up 
nvith a great ftone and fealed, impede his rifing ; being 
•the Son of God, impoflible it was he fhould be held by 
-death. — And all the power of hell and earth combined,^ 
<ould not mar his rifing in a gofpel difpenfation ; neither 
*will the invincible corruption of nature, in the day of con- 
'verfion, and all the infults, contempt, and indifference 
ihown about him, be able to hinder the renewed mani- 
fefi:ations of his countenance to the gracious foul. 

3. Tt^e fun \Mit% frogrejfively ; higher and higher till he 
"be in the rneridian : juft: fo it is with the Sun of righteouf- 
nefs in the foul; 'The path of the jufl is as the Jhinhig light ^ 
that jhineth 7nore and more unto the perfed day^ Prov. iv. 18. 
This light is but like a fpark at firft, and often accompa- 
nied ^vith much fmoke, but by degrees it breaks forth 
into a flame ; 'T^hey grow in grace^ they go from firength to 
flrength^ and from one degree of knov/ledge and holinefs 
linto another. This light daily prevails againft the dark- 
Xiefs of ignorance and corruption, till at lail it be brought 
to. perfection, as that blind man's fight was refi:ored by 
degrees, of which we read, Mark viii. 2 3. 

4. The irifing of the fun is pleafant ; hence Solomon 
tell§ us., that Light is fweet^ and it is a pleafant thing to be^ 
Jfold, t^he fun,*, Darknefs is gloomy and dreadful ; but light 
is, refrefhino: and revivin^o Whenever the Sun of riehte- 

ariftng 'with Healing in his Wingi^. l8i 

oufnefs arifcs on the foul, though formerly it was fitting 
in the region and Ihadow of death, it lays afide the fack^ 
cloth, and girds itfelf with gladnefs. So foon as he ap- 
pears the fliadows of death are turned into the rays of the 

5. When the fun arifes he difpels mlJIs and/c^j, which 
would poifon the air: fo when the Sun of righteoufnefs a- 
rifes, he difpels all the mifts, fogs, and clouds of fin, for 
his name's fake ; Ifa. xliv, 22. / have blotted out^ as a thick 
cloudy thy tranfgrejfions^ and as a cloud thy fms. It is the 
heat of the love of our Lord that difpels thofe clouds, left 
they fhould intercept our communion and fellowfliip with 
him. There is not a day, but the fleams of our filthy 
hearts gather into a thick cloud, which would cover his 
face from us, were it not that the warm beams of his love 
continually fcatter it ; nay, were not this the cafe, wc 
fhould never enjoy the light of his countenance one hour. 
There are three forts of perfons that may be fure the Sun 
of righteoufnefs never arofe on them; namely, the dan- 
geroufly erroneous, grofly ignorant, and openly profane ; 
for the light of the Sun of righteoufnefs makes thefe flia- 
dows to fly before him, and they cry like the angel to Jacob, 
Let me go for the day breaketh. He difpels the darknefs of 
error: naked truth conquereth armed error; and little 
David with his fmall flones taken out of the flreams of the 
fanctuary, eafily overcometh the great Goliath of herefy. 
He difpels the darknefs of ignorance and profanity, Teach- 
ing men to deny ungodlinefs and iv or Idly lufts^ and to live fo- 
herly^ righteoufly^ and godly ^ in this -prefent "WorlcL 

6. When the natural fun arifes, the wild be a (Is of the 
foreft, which roam through the fields in the darknefs of 
the night, retire to their dens : fo, whenever the Sun of 
righteoufnefs arifes upon the foul, its enemies flee before 
him. No fooner does our Lord appear, than enmity, un- 
belief, pride, vanity, frothinefs of fpirit, and other locufts 
pf hell, fhrink anxi hide their heads. A difplay of thf 

1^2 Christ, the Sun of Righteou^js^ 

glory of Chrift, will break the ftrcngth of the moft violent 
temptations, and knock down the ftrongeft and moft tur- 
bulent lufts : thefe enemies are not able to behold his riling; 
and therefore, poor believer, whenever thou art like to be o- 
vercome by any of thy fpiritual enemies, cry for the arifing 
of the Sun of rightcoufnefs with healing. 

7. The rifing of the fun difcovers or brings objects into 
lylew: the night conceals things, and the day reveals them; 
Eph. V. ig. But all things that are reproved., are made ma" 
nifejl by the light ; for whatfoever doth make manifejl^ is light, 
light difcovers things in their proper fliapes and colours, 
vvhethei' beauties or deformities : fo, the light of the Sun of 
rightcoufnefs makes a clear difcovery of the glory of God, 
the vilenefs of the heart of man, the beauty of holinefs, 
the love and lovelinefs of the Redeemer, and the importance 
of eternal things. He that followeth me, fays Chrift him- 
felf, Jl^all not walk in darknefs^ hut Jhall have the light of life. 

8. The rifing of the fun affords diredion. In the night 
we wander and go out of the way, we ftumble and fall ; 
but the day affifteth us in feeing our way, and fo prevent- 
cth our ftumbling; John xi. 9. If any man walketh in the 
day^ he Jlumbleth not ; becaufe he feet h the light of this world: 
fo the Sun of rightcoufnefs, both preferves us from fin, 
and guides our feet in the way of peace. He is our polar- 
ftar, as we are mariners ; and our pillar of fire, as travel- 

9. The fun r'lkth. joyfully ; Pfal. xix. 5. Which is as a 
bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a flrong 
man to run a race: fo the Sun of righteoufnefs rife th joy- 
fully in a foul ; his firfi: rifing there is called, The day of the 
gladnefs of his heart. Song iii. \\. Go forth, ye daughters 
of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith 
his mother crowned him in the day of his efpoufals, and in the 
day of the gladnefs of his heart. The day of a finner's con- 
verfion is the day of Chrift's coronation and of his marriage^ 
and therefore a day of joy and gladnefs to him y As a brido* 

arifing with Healing in his Wings ^ l8j 

vroom rejoicetb over his bride ^ fo doth Chrift over his people: 
the day of a finner's converfion is the day of Chnll's vic^ 
tory over Satan, and confequently of extraordinary joy* 
They joy before thee according to the joy in harvejly and as mm 
rejoice when they divide the fpo'il^ Ifai. ix. 3. 

10. The rifmg of the fun beautifies the earth: jiift fo^ 
the rifmg of the Sun of right eoufnefs beautifies the foul. 
However vile and contemptible a believer may be in the 
eyes of the world, he is all glorious within ; Though ye hav& 
lain among the pots ^ yet Jhall ye be as a dove^ whofe wings are 
Covered withfilver and her feathers with yellow gold. Our Lord 
not only cures our difeafes, but our deformities : other 
phyficians, by the ufe of means, may make the fick mart 
healthy ; but if he be deformed, they can never make hiiii 
^handfome : but our Lord not only gives health, but beau^ 
ty and comelinefs ; Hof. xiv. 4. / will heal their back/lid-* 
ing» Ezck. xvi. 14, Thy renown — was perfect through my 
comelinefs which I put upon thee. He not only heals, but he 
adorns ; fo he is called the Sun of right eoufnefs, becaufe 
his rays beautify as well as heal ; Rev. xii. i. And there ap^ 
peared a great wonder in heaven^ a woman clothed with the 
fun^ and the lyioon under her feei^ and upon her head a crown 
of twelve ftars, 

III. The third Head was to fpeak of the healing which 
IS under the wings of the Sun of right eoufnefs. And here 
I flrall firft, fpeak of the difeafes which he heals ; fecondly, 
of the wings whereby he heals ; and, thirdly, enquire howy 
tx in what manner he heals. 

ly?, I am to fpeak of the difeafes which he heals ; and 
they may be reduced to two, fm and fuffering. 

r. He heals T^^z, which may well be compared to a dl^ 

feafe* Difeafes, you know, are of a fpreading nature, they 

dlforder the whole body ; fo fin doth not reft in one part, 

but fpreads over all the faculties of the foul, and members 

of the body: Ifa. i. 5, 6. The whole bead is ficky and the 

1§4 Christ, the Sun of Right eoufnefs^ 

whole heart is faint : from the f ok of the foot^ even unto the 
head^ there is no foundnefs in it ; but wounds^ and bruifes^ 
and put r if ying fores : they have not been clofed^ neither bound 
up^ neither moUfied with ointments Sicknefs weakens the 
body; fo iin weakens the foul: Rom. v. 6. For when we 
were yet without flrength^ in due time Chrift died for the un- 
godly, Sicknefs takes away the beauty of the body ; Pfal. 
xxxix. 1 I, When thou with rebukes dofl correct man for ini-^- 
quityy thou makeft his beauty to confume away like a moth : fa 
fin has deprived the foul of its glory and fplendour; Howls 
the gold become dim^ and the mo ft fine gold changed! Difeafes 
uflier in death ; fo this difeafe of fin, if not cured by our 
Lord, brings the fecond death. Well, the Sun of righ* 
teoufnefs heals, 

(i.) ^\it guilt of iin, with the balfom of his own pre- 
cious blood ; Eph. i. 7. In whom we have redemption through 
his bloody the forgivenefs of fins. The guilt of fin confifts 
in an obligation to punifhment ; it lays the foul under the 
fentence of eternal death and condemnation, from the 
great and terrible God : but the Sun of righteoufnefs cures 
this difeafe, by free remiffion, which is juft the cancelling 
of the obligation which the foul was under to punifhment ; 
as foon as ever fin is remitted, the foul is freed from condem- 
nation, and all liablenefs thereto ; There is therefore now J2$ 
condemnation to them which are in Chrifl Jefus^ viii. i. 

(2.) He heals the filth of fin. We are all by nature as 
black and filthy as hell ; fo that a holy God cannot look 
iipon us without abhorrence. The angels of heaven ab- 
hore us ; and if we were not blind, we would abhore our- 
felves : but the Sun of righteoufnefs, when he arifes, heals 
this difeafe, by his Spirit, purifying and refining the fouL 
Then will I fpritikle clean water upon you ^ and ye fJ) all be clean: 
from all your filthinefs^ and from all your idols will I cleanfc 
pu^ Ezek. xxxvi. 25. 

(3.) He heals the power and domljiion of fin. Sin is a 
great tyrant, and impofes a moll heavy and intolerable 

arifing ivith Healing in his Wings] iS^ 

yoke upon all its vaiTals. O the fad cafe of every One un- 
der the power of fm ! — It darkens the mind, Eph. iv. i8. 
Having the iinderflanding darkened. Sin hath caft a milt 
before our eyes, that we -neither know God, nor Chrifi:, 
nor ourfelvcs ; that we neither fee our difeafe, nor cue 
phyfician : hvX our Lord Jcfus, the Sun of righteoufncfs, 
enlightens tlie mind concerning himfelf, and fo cures the 
foul of this difcafe. The will, which is the foul's comman- 
der in chief, is by fin become a rebel againft God ; AcVa 
vii. 15. Te do always refijl the Holy Ghojl. The will at man's 
creation, exactly correfponded with God's will ; its lan- 
guage then was, To do thy will I take delight : but now it 
is become like an iron finew, that refufeth to yield and 
bend to God ; and hence men will rather die than come 
to the phyfician ; 7^e will not come unto me that ye may havSr 
life : but our Lord, when he arifes, cures it of this difeafe j 
and makes the man perfect and complete in all the will o€ 
God : and lience, though many times the children of God 
come fliort in their performance of duty, yet their will is 
bent tow^ards it in refpecl of purpofe and inclination. In 
Pfalm xviii. 21. David fiys, that he had not wickedly de» 
parted from his God, Rom. vii. 22. For I delight in the laui^ 
of God after the inward man. The difeafed will cries out. 
Who is the Lord that I fhoidd obey his voice f but the cured 
will cries, We are all here prefent before God^ to hear what 
things are commanded thee of God, — Sin depraves th^ confci- 
encc, Tit. i. 15. ''Their mind and confcience is defiled. The 
confclcncc of one, on whom the Sun of righteoufnefs ne- 
ver arofe, is either erroneous, directing to what is finful, 
Acls XX vi. 9. I verily thought with myfelf that I ought to 
do many things contrary to the name of Jefus of Nazareth ; 
or dumb, fo that it will not tell men when they fm ; or 
dead, fluplfied, and carelefs, the cuflom of finning having 
taken away all fenfe of fin, and remorfe on account of it: 
but whenever the Sun of righteoufnefs arifes, he faithfully 
'libels the man for fin; My fin is ever before w^; whereas 

A a 

i86 Christ, thg Sun of Rightemfnefsj 

formerly the confcience was neutral, and gave not faith- 
ful counfel what to do in time to come ; it is now the 
privy counfellor, Pfal. xvi. 7. My reins inJlniB me in the 
night feafons* — Sin mi/places and diforders the affed:ions : for 
example, the affeclion of defire ; before the Sun of righte- 
oufnefs arifes, the man deiires that which is hurtful to him, 
he hath no defire after Chrif]:, he doth not hunger and 
^ thirfl: after righteoufnefs ; but he dcfires poifon, he dcfires 
to take his fill of fin, and fo loves death. Again, the af- 
fection of grief; the man, perhaps, grieves for the want 
of an eftate, but not for the want of God's favour ; he 
grieves for trouble on his body, but is not alFecled with 
the plague of his own heart. As for the afiection o^ joy ; 
he can rejoice in the things of the world, but knows not 
what it is to rejoice in Chrifl, and the crofs of Chrift. But 
as foon as ever the Sun of righteoufnefs arifes, the affecti- 
ons that were before diflocate, and fet on wrong objects, 
feeking content in other things without God, are now fet 
on him and his will: There be many that fay ^ Who will fhew 
us any goodf Lord lift thou up the light of thy countenance up- 
m us. Whom have I in heaven but theef and there is none 
on earth that I defire befides thee. 

(4.) He heals the refidence of fin in the foul. Sin dwel- 
leth in the faints, and a very turbulent neighbour they 
have of it ; when they v/ould do good, it is prefcnt and 
hinders, Rom. vii. 20. By indwelling fin a war is car- 
ried on with grace, and often the faint is brought into 
captivity to the law of fin. Many a heavy groan doth it 
draw out of a gracious foul, ver. 24. wretched man that 
. I am^ who flmll deliver me from the body of this death f and- 
this deliverance he looks for by Jefus Chriit. And fliould 
the abode of fin be fo much defiled with it, as to require 
its difTolution, like the houfe tainted with the leprofy, as 
indeed is the cafe, it muft come down to the duft ; and 
in the morning of the refurrecHon, the Sun of righteouf- 
nefs will raife up a new fabric out of the dufl, freed from 

ariftng ivith Healing in his Wings. i8j 

its old refideiitcr : i Cor. xv. 5 3 . This corruption muft put 
en incorriiption^ and this mortal mufl put on imnortaUty. 

2 . The Sun of righteoufnefs heals the difeafes oiftiffer- 
ing ; Ifai. Ixiii. 9. In all their affli6lions he was affii6ted\ 
and the angel of his prefence faved them: in his love and in 
his pity he redeemed them^ and he bare them^ and car* 
ried them all the days of old. He heals all his people's 
difeafes though many, and very grievous. — Sometimes 
they fuffer much in their inter eft ; But knowing in thenfelves^ 
that they have in heaven a better^ and more endearing fuhflance^ 
they take joy f idly the fpoiling of their goods, — Sometimes they 
fuffer much in their name^ and have it covered with a cloud 
of reproach ; but he makes this fo eafy to them, that they 
prefer reproach, for Chrift's fake, to the world's renown. 
— Sometimes they fuffer in their perfons^ cxquifite torture 
from the children of the wicked one; but even then he 
heals, by caufing inward confolations to abound, in pro- 
portion to outward trials ; fo that they fall in with the a- 
poflle's eflimate, Rom. viii. 18. For I reckon^ that the fif- 
ferings of this prefent time^ are not worthy to be compared with 
the glory which floall be revealed in us, The Sun of righte- 
oufnefs not only heals, but he makes fuffering falutary to 
them who fear his name ; like the fkilful phyfician, who 
prcfcribes difagreeable dofes to his patient, to flop the 
courfe, and carry off the influence of fome malignant dif- 
temper. So by afHiclions he heals one faint of pride ; an- 
other of untendernefs in his walk, learning him to keep 
his commands ; a third he cures of worldly mindednefs, 
and mortilies his afTeciions to liis poffefiioas, by threatening 
to break the thread of life. Well might Hezekiah fay of his 
aiHiciions as in Ifaiah xxxviii. 16. (J Lord:, by thefe thing's 
men llve^ and in all thefe things is the life of my fpirit : fo 
wilt thou recover me and make me to live,. 

idly^ V7e propofcd in the fecond place to fpeak of the 
wings whereby the Sun of righteoufnefs heals.. And wc 
ilull mention four of them. 

A a 2 

'l88 Christ, the Sun of Right eoufne/s, 

1. He heals by his bloody meritorioufly ; Ifa. liii. 5. He 

was wounded for our tranfgrejfions^ he was bruifed for our 
iniquities. He made a medicine of his own blood to heal 
lis, when he faw that nothing elfe would or could do it. 
This blood is the expiation of our fms, and the unlock- 
ing of our chains, the price of our redemption, and of the 
purity of our fouls ; Eph. i. 7. In whom we have redemptioti 
through his blood. This is that Balm of Giliad which re- 
covers a foul iick even unto death. 

2. There is heahng in his Spirit., efficaciouily. The 
guilt of fin is healed by the blood of Chrift, and the filth 
of fin by his Spirit. The guilt of fin is removed by re- 
mifllon ; the filth, by purification : he heals us of our 
guilt, as he is made of God to us righteoufnefs ; from filth, 
as he is made of God to us fanclijication : the one, on 
account of his merit ; the other, by the efficacy of 
3iis Spirit. As blood and water flowed out of the fide 
of Chrift ; fo blood and water flow into the heart of a fin- 
jier together. Our Lord Jefus flied his blood to make an 
expiation of fin, and fent his Spirit to deftroy it : by vir- 
tue of his blood, there is no condemnation for fin ; and 
by virtue of his grace and Spirit, there is no dominion of 
iin over us. 

3. He heals by his word, infi:rumeatally ; Pfal. cvii. 20. 
He fent his word and healed them. He ifl'ued his order for 
the removal of the difeafe, and it was done. Difeafes are 
Chrift's fervants which go and come at his pleafure. His 
Word, which is fo full of comfort, heals the faint, even 
though his trouble fliould continue; Pfal. cxix. 49, 50. 
Jlemember the word unto thy fervant., upon which thou haft 
caufed me to hope : this is my comfort in my aflidion ; for thy 
^ivord hath qulcke?ied me, 

4. He heals by his rod ; Ifa. xxvii. 9. By this therefore 

Jloall the iniquity of Jacob be purged., and this is all the fruit 

to take away his fin. The rod doth not expiate guilt, or 

Hitisfy juftice^ but it is a mean to fliew the evil of fin, to 

arifing ijoith Healing in his Wings* 189 

kad to the blood of Jelus, by which it is expiate, and to 
the Spirit by whom it is mortified. When the child of 
grace turns off into bye-ways, God heaves the rod, and 
fets him right:. hence the Lord faith to Ifrael, Hof. ii. 6. 
Behold^ I will hedge up thy way with thorns^ and make a 
wall^ that fie JI: all not find her -paths. I go on, 

idly^ To enquire how^ or in what manner he heals thefe 
difeafes. And, 

1. He heals /r^^/y. Other phyficians muft have their 
hire ; but our Lord adminifters his medicines freely. The 
poor woman, of whofe cure we read in the gofpel, had 
fpent her all upon phyficians, and was no better. But 
though Chrifli's medicines be of infinite value and worth, 
yet he does not fell, but gift them ; Ifa. Iv. i. He that hath 
no money ^ let him come^ and buy wine and milk with without 
money ^ and without price. He wants his patients to bring 
nothing with them but broken bones, fores, and ficknefs; 
and when he has cured them, he wants nothing but our 
love, which is our reafonable fervice. Other phyficians 
fend away the poor ; but if our Lord fend any away it is 
the rich: He fills the hungry with' good thi}igs^ but the rieh 
he finds empty away, 

2 . He heals eufiily. It is no eafy matter for other phy- 
ficians to heal ; they mufi: adminifier harfh medicines, and 
perform dangerous operations, in order to the recovery of 
their patients ; but our Lord cures with the grcatefi: faci- 
lity and eafe. — Sometimes he heals with a word; He fint 
his word and healed them. — Sometimes with a look, as he 
did Peter, Luke xxii. 61. And the Lord turned and looked 
upon Feter^ and Peter remembered the word of the Lord. A 
look from our Lord melted his heart, and made him mourn 
after a godly fort ; • be the difeafe of the foul what it will, 
a look from our Lord will cure it : fenfible was David of 
this, when he fays, Pfal. cxix. 132. Look thou upon me., 
and he merciful unto mcy as thou ufiefl to do unto thofie that 
love thy name. 

19^ Christ, the Sun of kighuoufnefs^ 

3. He heals moft tenderly; Pfal. cxlvii. 3. He heakth 
the broken in hearty and bindeth up their wounds. Our bleflcd 
Lord has indeed ended his fufFering, but not his fym- 
pathy; Heb. iv. 15. For we have not an high friefl^ wh§ 
cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities,, He is 
one that can have compaffion, becaufe he has had experi- 
ence. As the godly Flavel fays, " If I muft come into 
" the furgcon's hand with broken bones, give me one 
*^ whofe own bones have been broken ; who have felt the 
** anguilh in himfclf." And fo it has been with our Lord 
Jefus ; which makes him tender to diftrcffed fouls ; Ifa. 
xlii. 3. A bruifed reed fh all he not break; and the fmoaking 
flax JJjall he not quench. Many a time poor fick fouls have 
hard thoughts of this healer, and think he intends their 
ruin ; but, O the yearning of his bowels towards them ; 
Mine heart is turned within me^ my repentings are kindled to- 
gether^ Hof. xi. 8. 

4^. He heals wonderfully^ in that he comes to diftrefled 
fouls without being fent for ; Ifa. Ixv. \. I am fought of 
them that afked not for me : I am found of them that fought 
me not. Never would one of the human race have been 
healed, had not the Lord the healer come firft, and, like 
the tender-hearted Samaritan, poured wine and oil into 
their wounds. — He heals wonderfully, in that the phyficL- 
an died that the patient might live ; the phyfician let him- 
felf bleed, to cure his patient: Ifa. liii. 5. But he was 
wounded for our tranfgrejftons, — He heals wonderfully, in 
that repulfes and refifals do not force him away : if earth- 
ly phylicians be but affronted, they will refufe to cure a- 
gain ; but though we thruft away our foul -phyfician, he 
does not leave nor fbrfake us, Ifa. Ixv. 2. / have fpread 
out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, 

5. He heals fkilfully. There is no healer or phyfician 
in this world that underflands all difeafes, or can cure all; 
but our Lord both underflands, and can cure all. Pfal. 
ciii. 5. Blef the Lord^ my foul ^ who hcalcth all thy difeafes.^ 

arifmg nvith Healing in his Wings. 191 

The pool of Bethefda might be an emblem of our Lord ; 
John V. 4. Whofoever then Jirfl after the troubling of the 
water Jlepped in, was 7nade whole of whatfoever difeafe he 
had, — There are no defperate cafes with this healer; he 
can cure the worft : For the blood of Jefus Chrijl his Son 
cleanfeth us from all fin. 

6. Our Lord heals moft fuccefsfully. Other phyficians 
may have fkill, but they have not always fuccefs : patients 
often die under other phyficians ; but our Lord never un- 
dertakes to heal any, upon whom he does not accomplifh 
an infallible cure; John xvii. 12. Them that thou gavejl me^ 
I have kept, and none of them is loft. Other phyficians can 
only cure the fick ; but our Lord can cure or quicken the 
dead : Tou hath he quickened who tvere dead in trefpaffes and 
fins^ Eph. ii« I. 

Many other particulars might be mentioned on this 
branch ; fuch as, he cures readily, willingly, and delight- 
fully. But we pafs them, and proceed, 

IV. To the fourth Head in the method, v/hich was to 
confirm the doctrine, namely, 'That it is the comfort and 
happinefs of the fearers of God^s najne, in the wcrfl cf times ^ 
that our Kedeemer^ the Su7i of Right eoifnefs^ flmll arife zuitb 
healing in his wi?2gs. On this wx need not infifl, feeing 
the words of the text may be confidered as a proof fufH- 
ciently clear. But, for the encouragement of the faints, 
under their various fears and troubles in life, we can afTurc 
them, that this is the common language of fcripture, that 
the Lord fhall arife upon them, and his glory be feen up- 
on them. — Is it a time of bodily affliction f This is the com- 
mon lot of the Lord's people on this fide the grave; for, 
Through manifold tribulations they mujl enter the kingdom: 
but this is the promife of God to them in fuch a cafe, for 
their comfort, Ifa. xliii. i, 2. But now^ thus faith the 
Lord that created thee^ Jacob ; and he that formed thee^ 
Ifraelj Fear not ; for I hair redeemed thee^ I have called 


1 92 Christ, the Sun of Rlghteoufnefi^' 

thee by thy naine^ thou art mine. When thou pqffejl through 
the waters^ I will be with thee ; and through the rivers^ they 
Jhall not overflow thee : when thou walkeft through the fire^ 
thou Jh alt not be burnt; 7ieit her fall the flame kindle upon thee. 
— Is it a time when Satan, who c:oes about like a roarincr 
lion, feeking whom he may devour, is permitted to aiTault 
them with his fiery darts, and to tear them with the mofl 
horrid fuggeil:ions and temptations ? This is their encour- 
agement, I Cor. X. 13. But God is faithful^ who will not 
fuffer you to be tempted above that ye are able ; but wilt with 
the temptation alfo make a way to efape^ that ye may be able to 
hear it, Rom. xvi. 20. And the God of peace Jhall bruife Sa- 
tan under your feet Jhortly, — Is it a time of divine defertion^ 
when the Comforter that lliould relieve their fouls is far 
removed ? This is indeed a fad time ; Thou didfl hide thy 
face and I was troubled: but it ihall be of fliort continuance; 
only for a night : Weeping may endure for a nighty but joy corn- 
et h in the morning: for a ?noment ; for. His anzer endureth but 
a moment. Yea, it is diminifhed ftill ; for a fmall moment 
have I for fake n thee^ but %vith great mercies will I gather thee : 
hi a little wrath I hid my face from thee^ for a moment ; but 
with everlafling kindnefs will I have mercy on thee^ faith the 
Lord thy Redee?ner, — Is it a time when indwelling fin rages 
in the heart and makes fearful eruptions in the life and 
converfation ? cauiing them to groan, wretched man that 
I am, who fhall deliver me from the body of this death? But 
this is their comfort, that though thefe rebels difturb the 
peace for a while, they ill all never reign; Rom. vi. 14. 
For fin (hall not have doininion over you ; for ye are not under 
the law, but under grace : and fhortly there Ihall not be one 
of thefe Canaan'tes in all the land, and the fearers of the 
, Lord's name fhall enter triumphantly into the new Jerufa- 

iem. iVi? lion fhall be there, 7ior any ravenous beaft fhall go 
tip thereon ; hut the redeemed flmll walk there : and the ran- 
fomed of the Lord fhall come to Zion, with fongs and everlafi- 
ingjoy upon their beads : they fhall obtain joy andgladnefs, and 

arifing ivith Healing in his Wings. 193 

forrow and mourning Jh all flee away,— Is it a time of Zion's 
difolation^ or of calamities on the country f The fearers of 
the Lord fhall be kept, if not from the ftroke, yet moft 
affuredly from the lling of thofe evils : Rev. iii. 10. Becauf& 
thou had kept the word of my patience^ I will alfo keep thea 
from the hour df temptation^ which fhall come upon all the. 
worlds to try them that dwell upon the earth, — And in one 
word, the fcripture aflures us, that whatever real evils 
fall upon the wicked in life or at death, it fhall go always 
well with them that fear the Lord. Rom. viii. 28. And 
we know that all things work together for good to them that 
love Godi ^^ them who are the called according to his purpofe^ 
Though the wicked fhould enjoy a fun-fhine of outward 
profperity all their life, and fpread themfelves forth as a 
green bay tree ; yet, when death puts an end to their 
days, they fliall be driven to the blacknefs of darknefs, 
never to behold, the dawning of another day. But tho' 
the fearers of the. Lord's name fhould pafs through the 
world in great obfcurity and contempt, and be of all mea 
the moft miferable ; yet this night fhall be fucceeded by 21 
joyful and eternal day : when their light fhall arife in ob- 
fcurity, and their glory be as the noon-day; when the 
Sun of righteoufnel's fhall arife, and go no more down ; 
and when the Lord fhall be their everlaftinsr li2:ht, and 
their God their glory. Wc now proceed, 

V. To make fome improvemeiit of the fubjecl. 
ly?. We fhall improve it by way of information. And, 
I. Hence we may fee the reafon why the Old-'Teflament 
faints longed fo much for Chrift's coming: it was, becaufe 
he is the Sun of rightcoufnefs. All that they had in the 
types, prophefies, or promifes, were but fhadows of whac 
was to come in New-Teftament days. Was it any won- 
der then they defired the fubftanccs ? Pet. i. 10. Of which 
fahation the prophets have enquired and fearched diligently^ 
who prophefied of the grace that fljoidd come unto yoiu They 

B b 

194 Christ, the Sun af Right eoujhefs^ 

faw glorious times of light, grace, and comfort coming 
upon the church, which made them defire to hear and fee 
the things which come to pafs in gofpel-days: Until the 

day break ^ and the JJnidows flee away^ turn my Beloved^ and 
be thou like a roe ; that is, till the gofpel day dawn, and 
the fhadows of the ceremonial law flee away. 

2. Hence fee our happinefs under a gofpel-difpenfation, 
when the Sun of righteoufnefs has arifen on us. Our 
Lord faid to his difciples, while here upon earth, Many 
prophets and righteous men have defire d to fee thofe things 
which ye fee ^ and have not fen the?n ; and to hear thofe thwgs 
tvhich ye hear^ and have not heard them. Yea, may I not 
fay unto you, that ye fee and hear more than the difciples 
at that time did ? they faw him only in a Hate of humili- 
ation ; but we in a ftate of exaltation. Other nations 
have corn^ wine, gold, filver, and abundance of earthly 
pleafures and delights; but many of them have not a beam 
of heavenly light ihining upon them, Pfal. cxlvii. 20. We 
may account this a fmall mercy ; but God, who is the pro- 
per judge of its worth, thinks otherwife. Hof. viii. 12. 
/ have written to hhn the great things of my law ; but they ivere 
counted as a ft range thing. 

3. Hence fee, what brings believers to gofpel-ordinances ^ 
to facr anient s 2.nd fermons ; Vvhat makes preaching fofweet, 
and a communion table (odefirable to then.? Becaufe there- 
in the Sun of risrhteoufncfs difpiays his 2:lorv, fulnefs, fuit- 
ablenefs, and excellency to them : Song ii. 3,4. I fat down 
under his fhadow with great delight^ and his fruit was fweef 
to my tafte. In gofpel- ordinances they are privileged with 
difcoveries of the love, and lovelinefs of the glorious Re- 
deemer ; Pfal. xxvii. 4. One thing have I defired of the Lord^ 
that will I feek after ^ that I may dwell in the houfe of the 
Lord all the days of my life ; to behold the beauty of the Lord, 
a?2d to enquire in his temple : and this makes them prize 
them above all things elfe, Pfal. Ixxxiv. 10. For a day in 
thy courts is better than a thoufand. — He does not fay days; 

dfifing with Healing in his Wings. i^j 

you may fiipply it v^'ith years^ with ages if you will. David 
will fct his hand to it ; / bad rather be a d^r-keeper in the 
ijoufe of my God, than to dwell in the tenls of wickednefs. The 
l^harifees loved fynagogues well enough, provided they 
might have the uppermoft feats. David is not fo folicitous 
about that if he nriay be but admitted to the threfliold ; he 
will fay, Mafler it is good to be here : fome read it^ " I would 
'' rather ht fixed to a doer poft in the hoiife of my God^ than 
" live at liberty in the tents of wickednefs ;" alluding to 
the law concerning fervants, who, if they would not go 
out free men, had their eat' bored to the door poft: Da- 
vid loved his mailer, and loved his work fo well, that he 
defired to be tied to this fervice for ever. O the delight 
holy hearts have in religious duties ! ^ 

4. Hence we may fee the true reafon of the various 
fucceffes which the goipel, and gofpel-ordinances have up- 
on the fouls of men. Why ? becaufc the Suti of righte- 
oufnefs arifes on them at one time and not at another* 
What is the reafon one man's preaching becomes fruitful, 
and another's barren ; yea, why the labours of one man 
profper at one time, and not at another? Thefe things 
are juft as the Sun of righteoufnefs £hines or hides ; for, 
though Paid may plants and Apcllos ivater^ it is God that 
gtvcth the increafe, 

5. Here fee how eminently the goodnefs of God is ma- 
nifefted to us men, more than to angels. No fooner did 
they fm, but down they muft go into the prifon of dark- 
nefs, which for ever fhuts out every glimpfe of mercy ; 
but unto us has the Sun of rio-hteoufnefs arifen. The 
fallen ansrels continue under the chains of everlaltin?^ sruilt, 
helplefs and hopelefs of recovery. Man, who deferved 
no Getter, is loofed from thefe chainsby aftrong lledeemer: 
For verily he took not on him the nature of angels^ bitt the feed ^ 
of Abraham, Wonder at this aftoniiliins: difFercnce made 
by fovereign grace ; angels mufl: be damned, and meti 
may, yea, mull be faved! wonder that God Hiould bres'i 

Bh 2 

^1^6 Christ, the Sun of Right eoufnefs^ 

In pieces, and throw on the dunghill of hell, thefe golden 
veffels ; and cleanfe the earthen potflierd (poor man) in- 
ftead of breaking it ! Inhabitants of glory drop into the 
pit, and yet duft and aflies afcend up to paradife! When 
^we conftder the heavens^ the moon and the flars ; Then, Lordy 
wohat is man! But when we coniider the heaven of heavens, 
and the ano;els driven down from thence into utter dark- 
iiefs, with how much more reafon may we cry out, Lcrd^ 
nvhat is man! 

6.. Hence we may fee whence it is that the people of 
Ood are called the children of the light and of the day: why? 
becaufe they not only live in a land of light, but the Sun 
of righteoufnefs has arifen, the day has dawned, and the 
day-ftar arifen on their hearts ; even the light of the know- 
Jedge of the glory of God. Poor gracelefs finnei^, on whom 
the Lord Jefus has not arifen, they are yet in darknefs, 
children of the night, and walk at uncertainties, not 
knowing whether they go. Alas! many a poor finner 
thinks he is as fure to go to heaven, as he is to go out of 
the world, when he is in the very road to hell ; only fome 
go in the broad path of open prophanenefs, and fome fteal 
thither beyond the hedge. Many night birds there are 
among us, children of the night in reality, though chil- 
dren of the day profeiTedly. But believers are children cf 
^he day^ and that is the reafon why there fhines fo much 
divine light in their way and walk, which is not to be 
feen about others ; Their lip-ht fo fhines before men^ that a- 
^hers feeing their good works ^ ^^^^^fy iheir Father ivhich is i7i 

7. Hence fee what enemies they are to our fouls, who 
Xvould rob us of our Redeemer. Would ve not account 
him a defperate enemy, that would ei>deavour to pluck 
the fun out of the firmament? and are they not much 
worfe, who would pluck the Sun of righteoufnefs out of 
the heavens of the vifible church. Better want the fun 
of the firmament, than our Lord, the Sun of rightc- 

arlftng ivith Healing in his Wings. 197 

oufnefs ; for the natural fun gives only light to our bodies, 
but the Sun of righteoufnefs to our fouls : and yet, alas ! 
how many in our day are chargeable with this ! — and fuch 
are all the wicked, but vain, attempts of Deifts, Socinians, 
and Arians. ^ 

8. Here we may fee to ivbom we fliould afcribe all our 
light, all our warmth, and all our fruits of holinefs, viz. 
to Chrift. Let the moon and ftars then fall dow^n before this 
Sun, as in Jofeph's dream : they fhine but with borrowed 
light ; and the borrower is fervant to the lender. How 
fweetly do the fowls of heaven iing among the branches, 
when the morning dawns and the fun arifes? And fliall 
our mouths be filent when the Sun of righteoufnefs hath 
vifited, quickened, and enlightened our hearts? It is by 
influences from Chriil, the Sun of righteoufnefs, we bud 
and bring forth fruit abundantly. Your heart, behever, 
was a dark dungeon, full of ferpents, and all venemous 
reptiles. But how came it to be enlightened? why, the 
Sun of righteoufnefs was pleafed to iliine, and by his pre- 
fence to fcatter thefe vile and noxious lufls. Art thou 
enabled fo much as to bud, to think a good thought? It 
is becaufe the Sun of righteoufnefs has arifen. — Does it 
come to a blolfom, a good word? It is from the fame 
fpring.— Does the fruit grow up unto ripenefs, into holy 
aftions ? Whence is it but from this Sun's influence ? 

9. Hence fee what reafon we have to admire the ten- 
der mercy of our Lord, in making the Sun of righteouf- 
nefs arife on us. Glory to God in the highefl:, that there 
is balm in Gilead. If God had left 'the world in chaos at 
firft, and never commanded the light to fiiine out of dark- 
nefs, never fet any fun in the flrmament ; who could have 
charged any thing on him ? But he knew vvliat a mifer- 
able world it would be without the fun : and how little 
of the beauty and excellency pf his works would appear 
on this fuppoiition? But here his tendernefs and compaf- 

vfion to poor fiuiiers in a dafk and difeafed cafe fliines foi(;h. 

t^S Christ, /^^ Sun of Rtght€oufnefi^ 

with diftinguifhed luftre, in that through the tender merties 
of our Gody the day fpr'ing from on high hath viftted us. Her6 
are the yearnings of his bowels towards Us indeed : whert 
we were forlorn and hopelefs in ourfelves, to caufe the 
day-fpring from on high to vifit us, and to continue with 
us notwithftanding the clouds of fin, which are perpetu- 
ally hovering about us. O it is unfpeakable mercy! Ad- 
mire it, and blefs God for it. . 

2dly^ Let us next improve this fubjecl in an ufe of r^- 

1. Here fee a reproof to all fuch as fliut the windows 
againft the light of the Sun of righteoufnefs. When our 
Lord enters the foul by his Spirit, as a Spirit of convidtion, 
light beginning to come in at fome chink, gradually dif- 
covers the condition in which the perfon is, flieweth him 
the filthy vermin that are ready to deftroy his foulj 
and yet, alas 1 he makes a fhift to fhut the windows that 
he may keep out the light. This is a fad cafe ; when out* 
Lord would heal them, and they will not be healed until 
they die. It is the way to bring the blacknefs of dark- 
nefs upon you, to provoke God to clap the everlafling 
chains of darknefs about you, wherein to referve you to 
the judgment of the great day. O this is a heavy judg- 
ment, Let him that is filthy be filthy JlilL 

2. Hence fee a reproof to fuch as take occafion to 
ivound themfelves becaufe he has promifed to arife with 
healing. O how defperate is this ! would you not reckon 
that man out of his wits, who, upon a prefcription of the 
ikill and tendernefs of his phylician, fhcxild without any 
care, wound and gafli himfelf. You that dare be fo bold 
as to fin, that grace may abound, be affured, that ye 
know not what the grace of God means ; for, The grace 
of God teacheth us^ that denying tingodlinefs and worldly lufls^ 
we fijould live fbherly^ righteoufiy^ and godly ^ in a prefent f- 
vil world. How did the apoflle ftart at this ! God forbid! 

he recoils as a man ftunaed at fome horrid fight* Yon 

ariftng ivlth Healing in his Wings. 199 

that never were healed, do not continue in fin that you 
may give more work to the phyfician. And you upon 
whom he has arifen, feeing Ood ]\2i^ fpokcn pace to you^ fee 
that ye do not return again unto folly. 

g. Here fuch are reproved as reft on the common infiu" 
ences of the Sun of righteoufnefs. Our Lord Jefus fhlnes 
upon the good, and the bad ; upon the juft, and the un* 
juft in the vifible church: but he only fliines upon the 
beads of finners, whereas he ihines into the .hearts of his 
own people, 2 Cor. iv. 6 . ; reft not fatisfied with the one 
without the other. You may have much knowledge, and 
<L head full of notions, about divine things, and yet be 
but a weed ; for he fliines on the weeds, as well as on the 
flowers; on the dunghill, as well as the garden-, yea, the 
dunghill never favours fo bad as- when the fun beats mofl 
upon it : fo the fhinings of the Sun of righteoufnefs on 
fome, only raife fteams of lufts within men, and make 
them more vile and filthy than before ; their guilt greater, 
and their condemnation furer. Therefore llay not here, 
till you find the light of our Lord fcattering your lufts, 
and changing your hearts into his image. 

^, Hence fee reproof to all fuch as employ ot/jer healers. 
And here four forts of perfons fall under confideration. 

(i.) Such as apply to angels 2ind faints departed i'ov heal- 
ing, as papifiis do, fuppofmg them to be mediators or in- 
terceflbrs for them, which is a difhonour to Chrifl: the heal- 
er, accufing him of an imperfecl fatisfaclion, of an infuf- 
ficient offering for fin, than which nothing can be more 
ungrateful or abfurd, in regard the value of his atonement 
was infinite, and in regard he hath by one offering perfec- 
ted for ever them that are fanclified. 

(2.) Such as apply to their own duties for healing. Some 
are of fuch a legal fpirit, that whenever they have perform- 
ed duty, they mark God their debtor, and upbraid him 
with it, faying. Wherefore have ive fafted and thon feefl us 
notf which is upon the matter to fay, Here is my failing. 

200 Christ, the Sun of Right eoufnefs^ 

where is thy pardon ? Yet our duties are fo far from heal- 
ing, that they are defiling and damning ; Ifa. Ixiv. 6. All 
our r'lghteoufnejfes are as filthy rags, Righteoufnefs, in the 
full latitude of it, whatever ye do in a way of eminency, is 
but a filthy rag ; and to think that a filthy rag is able to 
heal our difeafes, and purge our fouls from fin, is as ab- 
furd as to think of waihing away one fpot of mud with 
another. That which is wounding can never be healing ; 
that which is condemning can never be juftifying; that 
which falls fhort of the hoUnefs of the law, can never re- 
deem us from the curfe of the law; for, ^here is not a 
jujl 7nan upon the earthy that doth good and finneth not, 

(3.) Such as apply to uncovenanted mercy for healing, 

O, fays fome poor finner, God is merciful ; mercy is his 

nature, he triumphs in exalting that perfection, and I hope 

God will be merciful to me ? And thus the wound is Ikin- 

ned over, and the perfon imagines he is whole ; but it is 

only in Chriil the Sun of righteoufnefs, that all light and 

healing are found. As God fends all natural light to us 

through the fun ; fo all the grace and mercy we receive, 

comes to us as fo many rays, or beams darted from the 

Sun of righteoufnefs, Chrift Jefus : Rom. v. 2 . By whom 

alfo we have accefs by faith into this grace wherein we Jland, 

To expert healing, only upon the account of mercy, is to 

honour one attribute at the expence of another. Though 

God be merciful, yet he is juil: forget not therefore the 

great demonflration of juftice, when ye plead mercy. 

God is merciful to no man out of Chrift ; for, out of him 

he is a confuming fire. 

(4.) Such as depend on ordinances for healing: for it is 
not ordinances, but Chrift in them that heals. They are 
means of God's appointment to gain the end ; but unlefs 
Chrift come along with them, thefe will be no better than 
the waters of Bethefda's pool, which healed only when an 
an2:el troubled them: fo ordinances have no virtue but 
what they derive from Chrift. They put them out of their 

atifing ivlth tiealing in his Wings, 20 1 

own place, and give them the honour which belongs to 
Chrift, who depend on them for healing. On this very 
account, the Lord is juft ih making them as dry breafts 
and inlipid medicines, when any rely on them, and not 
upon Chrift the Sun of righteoufnefs. 

(5.) Hence fee a reproof to fuch as, inftead of coming 
to our Lord for healing, are wounding themfelves more 
and more, by going on in fin. Sinners, little do you know, 
that when you are in the way of fin, you are juft feeding 
your difeafe, and making frefti wounds in your confciences; 
He that Jinncth againft me^ ivro7igeth his own foul. Oh 1 
how lamentable would his condition be who was wound- 
ed in head and heart, and fo full of putrifying fores, that 
the very fight of his perfon, and favour of his wounds, 
were enough to make all others abhor him, and yet would 
wound himfelf more and more! Well, this is the condi- 
tion of every one of you, who goes on in his trefpafles 5 
for, God fhall furely wound the head of fuch an one. O 
firs, fiir better ye were ftarving, than feeding your difeafe, 
by adding fuel to the fire of luft : he that feeds the difeafe 
of fin, feeds an enemy to his own foul ; / befeecb you^ hre^ 
thren^ that you ahjlain from flejhly lufts that war againft th&^ 

^dly^ We may improve the fubjccl in an ufe of exami^ 
7iation, Examine vourfelves then, whether or not the Sun 
of righteoufnefs has favingly arifen upon you, by the fol- 
lowing marks. 

I. If the Sun of righteoufnefs has arifen upon you, ye 
have feen yourfelves to be darknefs before he arofe. The 
natural ftate is a ftate of darknefs ; ye have feen yourfelves 
to be blind and dark, as to thefe things that relate to God 
and eternity; — to God^ Eph. iv. 18. Having the under ft and^ 
ing darkened^ being alienated from the life of God ; — to eter^ 
nity^ 2 Pet. i. 9. He that laketh thefe things is blind^ and 
cannot fee far off. There is a mift upon eternity, and the 
natural man's carnal eve cannot fee throusrh it. What- 

C c 

202 Christ, /Z?^ Sun of Righteoufnefs^ 

ever notions you had of divine things, you have fccn 
yourfelves to have been without the leaft ipiritual know- 
ledge : though you faw them in the picfture of the latter, 
yet not in their liveHnefs and inward glory. 

2. If the Sun of righteoufnefs has arifen upon you, yc 
have feen youi^felves to be difeafed; for, They that are whole 
need not the phyftcian, but they that are fick. It is a bad 
fymptom to hear a fick dying man fay, he is well ; and 
it is as bad a fign of a foul's cafe, to be thinking it was 
always well: Rev. iii. 17. Thou fay eft I am r'lch^ and in- 
creafed with goods ^ and have need of nothing ; and knowefl 
not that thou art foor^ and wretched^ and inferable^ and 
blind^ ar}d naked. The Laodiceean church, thought flic 
was rich, becaufe flie was blind: flie thought fhe was 
whole, becaufe flie was difeafed. Alas ! many blefs God 
their eftate is good, not from their knowledge of their 
happinefs, but from ignorance of their danger. But, I 
am fure, if the Sun of righteoufnefs has arifen on you, ye 
have feen, that from the crown of the head, to the fole 
of the foot, there is no foundnefs in you ; but wounds, 
and bruifes, and putrifying fores : and ye have been made 
to abhor yourfelves on that account. 

3. Ye have experienced a change from daiknefs to light. 
Though ye cannot tell the time, and way of its being 
brought about, yet ye will be in cafe to iliy with the blind 
man, Once was I blinds but now I fee. As great a differ- 
ence there is, betwixt the natural and the gracious fl:ate, 
as there is betwixt light and darknefs, death and life; 7^e 
were fometwies darknefs^ but 7iow are ye light in the Lord, 
And fo it cannot be, but that one on whom the Sun of 
righteoufnefs hath fhined, has experienced this change. I 
own this change is not alike evident, and clearly difcern- 
able in all ; but if perfons never difcerned any change, 
they have no ground for their confidence, that the Sun of 
righteoufnefs has arifen. I aflc you, has the Lord opened 
your eyes in the knowledge of fin and Chrift ? It were not 

arifing nvith Healing in his Wings, 203 

poflible for a man to be in the body of the fun, and not 
to have light ; fo it is impoilible for a man to be in Chrifl, 
and not have his underftanding enlightened. 

4. If the Sun of righteoufnefs has arifen upon you, ye 
have experienced his healing. On fuch as never were 
healed, the Sun of righteoufnefs has never arifen. 

(i.) If the Sun of righteoufnefs has arifen, ye will have 
the experience of healing from the guilt of fin. Before 
lie arofe, when ye heard of God, ye were ready, like A- 
dam, to run away and hide yourfelves ; ye were afraid to 
look him in the face : but now ye will have fome more 
confidence in your approaches to God. 

(2.) Ye will have the experience of begun healing of 
the dominion of fin; Rom. viii. 2. 'The law of the Spirit cf 
life^ in Chrijl Jejus^ hath made me free from the law of fin 
and death. I doubt not but there may be greater com- 
plaints of fin's power, after his arifing than before; ne- 
verthelefs, every believer experiences a begun deliverance 
from the reign and dominion of fin; although fin may 
make more fi:ir in the foul, it has not fo much power as 
formerly : now, there is not that willing compliance with 
its orders ; and when any of them are complied with, there 
is a force put upon the foul : / find a. law in my members 
warring agamft the law ofniy mind, 

(3.) Ye will have fome experience of a begun deliver- 
ance from the defert of fin ; I mean, the wrath of God: 
whereas before he arofe ye were under fears of wrath ^ and 
faw yourfelves in imrainent danger of irretrievable ruin ; 
now ye will find fomething of a bletTed calm in your 

4^/;/)', The lail ufe we make of the doctrine is of exhor^ 
tat'ion : firfi: to thofe on whom the Sun cf rinrhteouinefs has 
arifen, and then to all in general. 

1^1.] To thofe on whom the Sun of righteoufnefs has 
;:rifen. And our exhortation to fuch is, 

1 Frequently refiecl on your ftate before the Sun of 

C c 2 

io4 Christ, the Sim of Right eoufnefs, 

righteoiifncfs arofe ; look back and confider from what a 
miferable condition our Lord has brought you, from dark- 
nefs to li2:ht : but look not back as Lot's wife did to So- 
dom, with forrow for leaving it ; Remernber Lofs wife. 
Thus to look back were a renewing of our former fins, 
and putting ourfelves in hazard of being made objects of 
God's difpleafure. And as we are not to remember them 
with grief, fo neither with delight, as Ifrael remembered 
the melons and cucumbers they did eat in Egypt, which 
brought wrath upon them ; but to remember them with 
forrow, as the merchant doth his great lofs at fea : Ezek. 
xxxvi. 25. Then ivill I fprinkle clean water upon you^ and 
ye Jhall be clean: ver. 31. Then fhall ye remember your own 
£vil ways. The remembrance, of your former condition is 
ferviceable, (i.) To keep you humble. Agathocles, king 
of Sicily, being by birth the fon of a potter, would not 
be ferved at table in veiTels of gold or filver, but in earthen 
veffels, that he might be kept humble by the remembrance 
of his original : fo ye fhould reflect on your former ftate, 
that ye may walk foftly; Eph. ii. 12. Remember that at 
that time ye were without Chr'ifl^ being aliens from the com- 
-^non-wealth of Ifrael,, and (I rangers to the covenants cfpromif\ 
having no hope^ and without God in the world, (2.) It will 
raife your ejleem of the riches of God's mercy in your deli- 
x^erance from that woeful ftate; i Tim. i. 13. Who was 
before a hlafphemer^ and a perfecutor^ and injurious ; but I 
cbtained mercy, (3.) It will heighten your admiration of 
the power and virtue of the Sun of righteoufnefs in your 
healing ; i Cor. vi. i i. ^uch were fom'e of you ^ but ye are. 
^ivafhed^ but ye are fanBified^ but ye are jufified in the name 
of the Lord Jefus^ and by the Spirit of our God, 

2 . O blefs the Lord for the Sun of righteoufnefs : Truly 
light Is fweet^ and it is a pleafant thing to behold the fun^ 
But, O how fweet is fpiritual hght I and what a pleafant 
thing is it to behold the Sun of righteoufnefs ! Bleffed are 
^our eyes^ for they fe; and your ears, for they hear. Our 

ariftng nvith Healing in his Wings. nog 

Lord has brought you out of darknefs to his marvellous 
light ; and therefore, blefs hnn faying, God is the Lord, 
nvbo hath Jhewed us light, O break forth into praife and 
thankfulnefs for this aftonifhing mercy : for, Blejfed is the 
people that know the joyful found ; they fhall walk, Lord, 
in the li^ht of thy countenance : in thy name fhall they rejoice 
all the day ; and in thy righteoufnefs fJyall they be exalted. 
Though ye be not quite ciured of the difeafe of fin, yet 
the cure is begun, and ye fliould blefs him for the begin- 
ning of it. Though there be fome relicts of the old dif- 
eafe ; yet the reigning power of it is taken away : ye are 
fo healed that ye lliall not die. Thefe who were cured by 
the brazen ferpent afterwards died ; but fuch as are heal- 
ed by the Sun of righteoufnefs fhall not die. Sin may 
moleft and infeft you, but it fhall not ruin you. O then, 
what reafon for thankfulnefs ? Let the high praifes of God 
be in your mouth, 

3 . O pity others on whom the Sun of righteoufnefs has 
not arifen. Ifrael knew the heart of a fir anger, and there^ 
fore was to pity a fir anger : well, fo do ye. You had as 
bad natures as any, and lay in the fame puddle of corrup- 
tion ; were hewn out of the fame rock, digged out of the 
fame pit, and came into the world as wicked and defti- 
tute of light as any others. — Have you children, and are 
they healthy ? that is well : but have they fick fouls \ pity 
them and pray for them, as David wept and failed for his 
fick child. — Have you a w4fe, or a hufband that are fick? 
Oh! let thy bowels yearn over them, lift up a prayer for 
them ; and the prayer of faith may fave a lick foul. 

4. O be concerned he ihould arife and heal a difeafed, 
a dying land and nation. Scotland, England, and Ireland 
are fick ; The whole head is fick, and the whole heart is faint. 
The magiflracy, the miniftry, and the commonalty are 
difeafed ; and thofe who pretend to be our healers, are 
phylicians of no value. AVe have fpent: our money on 
thefe phyficians, and our difeafes are not healed ; Jer. xiv. 

2o6 Christ, the Sun of Right eoujhcfs^ 

19. Why hafl then fmitten us, and there is no healing for usf 
We are fick of error, deifm, immorality, and of difeafes 
which no man can number? What remains but that we 
fliould go to the great healer, who fhall fprinkle many 
nations, that he may apply healing medicines to our land. 
O lie between the porch and the altar, and cry. Spare thy 
people, hlefs thine inheritance : never ceafe from crying to 
this healer, till he lay a healing clufter of figs on Britain's 
fore, and caufe her to recover. 

5. Has the Sun of righteoufnefs arifen on you? walk 
as children of the light ; Eph. v. 8. For ye were fometimes 
darknefs, but now are ye light in the Lord; walk as children 
of the lig/jt. A change of ftate calleth for a different courfe 
of life: ye were darknefs; and if ye had continued fo, wc 
could have expeded nothing elfe, but works of darknefs 
from you ; but feeing ye are children of the light, you muft 
walk as becometh fuch. Some may fay, if they be light 
in the Lord, then what need is there to exhort them t3 
walk as children of the light f I anfwer, an exhortation is 
very neceiTary ; for fluggifh nature is backward to good, 
and we have much oppofite corruption in us. Earth would 
be heaven ; grace would be glory ; our way would be our 
journey's end, if we could not walk in darknefs. 

[2.3 We conclude the fubject, with an exhortation to 
all in general. And our addrefs to fuqji is, 

Come then to the bright ncfs of the riling of this Sun. 
Be what you will, ye are as well warranted to make ufe 
of the light of this Sun of righteoufnefs, to direct you to 
the other world, as you are warranted to make ufe of the 
natural fun to dired: you through this. God has fet the 
fun in the heavens to be a light to the world ; and on that 
ground ye think you have a right to his light, and very 
juftly; for what is freer than light? It is as free to the 
beggar as to the king on the throne. AVell, God has fet up 
our Lord in a gofpel difpenfition alfo, as the light of the 
world J / am the light of the tvorld: Hs is given a light t€ 

arifing tjuitb Healing in his JVingsJ* 207 

lighten the Gentiles. And on this ground ye may all claim 
him as your own : if ye be Gentiles, if yc be of the world, 
he is your light ; and therefore we invite you to come to 
his light. Behold him as Ihining in the difpenfation of 
the gofpel, and fo fhare of the healing that is under his 
wings. O, as ye love your own fouls fhut not out his 
light but entertain it. For motives, 

I . Confider your need of his rifing upon your fouls with 

( I .) Ye ftand in ahfolute need of it ; till he arife, ye are 
in darknefs, and that is a moft uncomfortable fituation. 
How fad was the condition of Egypt, when the Lord 
plagued it with darknefs ; darknefs that might he felt ! And 
how fad would the condition of the world be, without the 
fun ! You live in a woeful region ! You fit in darknefs^ and 
in the region of the fhadow of death. — To be in darknefs is 
a moft dangerous fituation, as you are in hazard of your 
life every ftep you take: while you are without Chrift, 
ye know not truth from error, nor good from evil, whe- 
ther ye be right or wrong, whether your way may lead 
to heaven or hell. — And while ye are in darknefs, ye are 
in a moft fright fid cafe : darknefs is always horrible ; hence 
we read of the horror of darknefs : fo the condition of every 
unconverted finner is horrible ; he is encompafTed with 
terrors on every fide. Every unconverted iinner is a niagor* 
?mfahbib^ terror round about. 

(2 .) Ye ftand in abfolute need of his riling, for ye are 
dfeafed ; ye are all wounded even to death, bitten with 
fiery ferpents, the venom whereof inflames your fouls: 
and therefore a phyfician you muft have, or die. Now, 
there is no healing in any other : if you know of any o^ 
ther healer, take him, and follow after him ; but I muft 
tell you, when you have fpent your all, you will never be 
healed till ye come to the balm in Gilead, and the phyfi- 
cian who is there ; for there is 7w fahation in any other* 
Say not then, Aix not Abana and Pa^phar, rivers of Da- 

2o8 Christ, the Sun of Highteoufnefsy 

mafcus, better than all the waters of Ifrael, feeing ye mujl 
go wafh in Jordan, and be healed. 

2. Conlider, that till the Sun of righteoiifnefs arife up- 
on you with healing, ye are not ft for doing either God 
or yourfelves any fervice in the world. Ye are unfit : for, 

(i.) Ye are in darknefs. The Egyptians under the 
plague of darknefs are defcribed by their inaclivity ; They 
faw not one another^ neither rofe any from his place for three 
days. While ye are in the darknefs of a natural ftate, ye 
can duty: ye cannot pray with fervency, nor me- 
ditate with delight, nor mix faith with the word in hear- 
ing it ; yea, faith the Sun of righteoufnefs. Without me ye 
can do nothing. Though ye may be employed in religious 
duties, they are nothing but fplendid fins, an abominati- 
on to God till the Sun arife : for, The facrifce of the wicked 
is an abomination unto the Lord, Ye owe duty to God, as ye 
are his creatures ; ye are unable to perform it, as ye are 
guilty offenders, until the Sun of righteoufnefs arife. 

(2.) Ye can do nothing for God, for ye are difeafed. 
We do not expect work from a iick or lame man ; fo, while 
the difeafe of lin remains in your fouls, ve are unfit for 
any heavenly employment : When -we ivere yet without 
flrength. Would ye be active for God? Come and be 
healed. So Ions: as ve are difeafed with fin ve are lame, 
and rendered unfit for any work. We read indeed of fin- 
ners works; but then they are ^^^^ works: How 7nucb 
more ffmll the blood of Ch rift purge your consciences from dead 
works ^ Heb. ix. 14. 

3. Confider that our Lord is very willing to arife on 
you and heal you : if he had not been in good earnefi; in 
the w^ork of faving and healing poor difeafed fouls, would 
he ever have prepared fuch cofi:ly medicines, made up of 
his own body and blood, that fo no diieafe might bafile 
the efiicacy of his remedies ? furely no : did he ever refufe 
any that came to him for healing? No. Ye cannot pro- 
duce one inftance \ but many to the contrary : Uim thai 

arijtng ivith Healing in his Wings, 


iometh unto me^ I will in no wife cajl out. In the days of 
his flefh, when men came to him for the healing of their 
bodies, he did over and above heal their fouls: they came 
to alk crumbs, like the poor woman, and he gave them 
childrens bread, his flefh to eat and his blood to drink, 
to be food and phyfick to nourilh and heal them. — So 
then, come to him, and ye fliall find healing to your 

D d 

C 2IO ] 

A Sight of Christ^ the Chri/iia'/is ]oy. 

John xx. 20. 
Then ivere the dijhfles glad vjohen they Jaiv the Lord. 

N the preceding chapter, we find our blefled Lord in the 
field of battle, engaged with the powers of* darknefs, 
attacked by them, and vigoroufiy attacking them. Victory, 
for Tome time, feemed to hover betwixt the combatants, 
and at length to incline to the enemies fide, and our cham- 
pion falls before them in the engagement : thus the Lord 
feemed to deliver bis Jlrengtb into captivity^ and his glory 
into the enemies haiid. Thus the adverfary of our falvation 
feemed a conqueror, and might be ready to fuppofe him- 
felf abfolute prince of this lower world, a greater than the 
firft Adam having now fallen before him : that God incarnate 
fliould be {lain by his hellilh inftruments, and the whole 
church dead in their Head, had the appearance of a mighty 
victory ; and not only dead, but buried in a grave, and 
lying there for a part of three days ; for our Lord was 
buried on Friday evening, and continued in the grave all 
Saturday, which was the Jewifli fabbath, and part of the 
the firft day of the week: but now the fabbath is over, 
and the firft day of the week begins to dawn, which is like 
the firft day of a new world. In the former chapter, we 
are called to follow him to the crofs and grave ; but in 
this, to attend him on his way to the crown ; in the one 
to be prefent at his death, and aflift at his funeral y in the 
other, to come and fee the place where the Lord lay. 

The refurredion of Chrift has been a matter of mockery 
to many; in this chapter, however, we have the moft 
certain proofs for it, fuch as the empty grave, obferved 
firft by Mary Magdalen, and thereafter by Peter and John: 

A Sight of Christ, the Chrljllans Joy. 21 1 

Ills own appearance and manifeftation, firll to Mary Mag- 
dalen, and then to all his difciples, excepting Thomas ; 
and afterwards to all the difciples, and riiomas along with 
them ; who, being abfentthe other time, refufed to believe 
upon their teftimony, unlefs he himfclf got fenfible fatis- 
faction. The words of our text belono: to the fecond of 
thefe, his manifeftation to the other difciples, without Tho- 
mas ; and they contain in them the fruit and enecl of the 
difcovery, Tbeii were the difciples glad when they faw the 

Without ftanding to divide and explain the words, wc 
obfcrve from them the following doctrine, 

That as it is fometimes the believer s privilege to fee the Lord ; 
fo the fight produces holy joy in his foul : Or fliorter thus, 
A fight of Chrifl is a glad fight to his difciples. 

In profecuting this doctrine, we fliall obferve the fol- 
lowing method, 

I. To fpeak of the believer's privilege; — They faw the 


II. Of the believer's fra?ne^ the fruit of that privilege. 

III. Enquire whence it is, that a fight of the Lord glad- 

dens the hearts of his difciples. 

IV. We fliall apply the fubjecf in feveral ufes.- 

I. Our firft Head is to fpeak of the believer's privilege ; 
— They faw the Lord, And what we intend upon this, 
fliall be comprehended in the following remarks. 

Re?nark i . " There are feveral agreements betwixt natu- 
ral fight and faith's difcovery of our Lord Jefus j" fomc 
of which I fliall mention. 

I . The eye is an organ that communicates nothing to the 
objecl, but only receives the image of it. When you con- 
template the fun, you give nothing to him, but only re- 

Dd 2 

212 A Sight o/* Christ, 

ceive his light : juft fo, faith in our Lord Jefus, is not a 
giving but a receiving grace. All the other graces of the 
Spirit give fomething to God, but to 'receive all conftitutes 
the very effence of faith; John i. 12. To as raany as re- 
ceived him^ to them gave he power ^ or privilege, to become 
the Jons of God, Faith may be confidered two ways, /imply 
and relatively. Confider it fimply^ as a gracious quality, 
V'hereby we are difpofed to receive all divine revelation, 
it does not fave us : there is nothing in it commenfurate 
to fo great a bleffing, nothing in it to meafure with the 
law of God, which is exceeding broad ; nothing in it to fa- 
tisfy divine juftice ; nothing in it to weigh againit the 
guilt of fin ; nothing in it to purchafe the favour of God : 
but confider it relatively^ as an inftrument, laying hold 
upon our Lord Jefus, his grace, righteoufnefs, and falva- 
tion ; and in this fenfe it/aves us. As a gold ring, where- 
in is fet a precious ftone, is faid to be of great value, for 
the Hone that is in it ; fo the worth of faith lies wholly 
in its relation to the pearl of great price, our Lord Jefus 
Chrift, and his everlafting righteoufnefs : or, as the win- 
dow may be faid to enlighten, becaufe it tranfmits the 
Jight which is without, and proceeds from another body ; 
or as the cup feeds by the wine which it contains ; fo it 
Is with faith, it is nothing but a receiver ; it receives the 
atonement, it receives the gift of righteoufnefs, receives 
the Spirit of grace, receives remiffion of fins ; but giv^s 
none of them out of its own hand. Though the poor 
widow behoved to have a vefiel for receiving the oil ; yet 
it was not the vefiTel, but the oil that paid the debt : fo 
there is a neceffity of having faith, whereby to receive the 
Lord ; but it is the Lord our righteoufnefs that pays the 

2 . Natural fight is a very confirming evidence, and pro- 
duces the greatefl: certainty of the exifi:ence and qualities 
of its object. There is nothing furer than what we fee 
with cur eyes : juft io^ faith is a grace that carries certainty 

the Chrijlians 'Joy. 213 

in its nature ; We believe^ and are fure^ fald Peter, John 
vi. 69. As faith is afpiritual knowledge, lb the knowledge 
of faith is a certain knowledge ; Heb. xi. 13. They f aw the 
fromifes afar off^ and %vere persuadp:d of them ; that is, they 
had an affured knowledge of the things they did believe. 
Faith is not a doubtful opinion^ but a certain perfuafton^ that 
we ihall have life and falvation by Chriil : it is not a ge- 
neral notion, but a particular affurance, wdiercby we ap- 
propriate Chrift and falvation to our own fouls : Col. ii. 2. 
And unto all riches of the full affurance of underfl and'ing^ 
to the acknowledgment of the w.yftery of God^ and of the Father^ 
and of Chrift, The apoftle heaps up expreflions to fignify 
the certainty in faith : he calls it affurance^ — full affurance, 
— full affurance of underflanding ; — riches of the full affur- 
ance of underflanding, — Only w^hen I thus fpeak, 1 diftin- 
guifh between the affurance of fenfe^ whereby believers 
are made certain that they are in a ftate of grace already, 
founded upon evidences of grace within them ; and the 
affurance w^hich is in faith ^ or an affured faith of righte- 
oufnefs and falvation in Chrift Jefus, as held forth to every 
fmner of Adam's race, to wdiom the gofpel comes, to be 
received and applied by them for their own benefit. As 
alfo, I would diftinguifh betwixt the reality of this affur- 
ance, and the fid nefs of it, or its degrees: one may have 
this certainty and afi'urance, and yet not know affuredly 
that he hath it, but need marks to difcover it by: for, 
though a man cannot but be confcious of an act of his own 
foul, as to the fubftance of the acl; yet he may be in the 
dark as to the fpecifical nature of it, which is ufual among 
the Lord's people. As a faint may be confcious of his heart's 
moving in affection to God, and yet not know affuredly 
that it is the true love of God, but fears it may be hypo- 
critical ; fo a man may be confcious of this perfuafion, 
and yet doubt if it is the perfuafion of faith, and not that 
of the prefuming hypocrite. 

3. Natural fight reaches to 2i great diflance; it difcerns 

114 ^ ^k^^ of Christ, 

things afar off: juft fo, faith is a grace that fees things a- 
far off; and hence is that expreflion concerning Abraham's 
faith, 7^0 UK father Abraham rejoiced to fee my day^ and he 
faw it J and was glad. The objed was at a great diftance, 
not to be accompliihed in his time, nor for a long time 
after: thouf^mds of years, and many fucceilions of ages 
interveened, before the Mcfliah was exhibited to the world ; 
yet he faw him^ and went to the grave in the affurance of 
this promife, that in due time the redemption of iinful 
men fliould be accompliflied. A pur-blind man cannot 
fee things at a diftance from him ; but faith furmounts all 
fucceilions cf ages, and can fly over many thoufands of 
years in a moment, to the object expected, as the apoftle 
John, Rev. xx. 1-2. And I faw the dead^ fmall and great^ 
fland before God, But why do I fay it can fee through 
thoufands of years? for this eagle-eyed grace of fpiritual 
fight, can in the twinkling of an eye look as far backward 
as an eternity paft, and fee the perennial fprings of re- 
deeming love and grace, boiling up in the heart of God 
from everlafting, and making his bowels yearn towards 
us long before we had a being, and that notwithftanding 
of all the odious deformitv and vilenefs he forefaw fin 
would bring upon us, to make us the deferving objects of 
his hatred, rather than his love: and it can look as far 
forward as an eternity to come, and fee this love laying 
up immenfe, and everlafting provifion for our immortal 
fouls, in the glorious fruits and iffues of it. The redeem- 
ed of the Lord fliall exult and triumph for ever, faying, 
Unto him that loved zis, and wafhed us from our fins in his 
own blood, 

4. In natural fight the objedt is brought near to the eye: 
juft fo, faith brings near its object to the foul ; hence it 
is called, The fubfance of things hoped for ^ and the evidence 
of things not feen. Faith is a grace that gives a man real 
foffejfton of things hoped for, it makes them really prefent 
to a mail's mind ^ and this it effects by means of a lively 

the Chr'ijlians "Joy. 215 

hope of them, which does, as it were, fip the cup of blef- 
ling, and foretaftes thefe eternal and excellent delights, 
which God has prepared for us. Hope, by a myfterious 
and fpiritual kind of magick, pulls heaven out of heaven, 
and makes it exift in the heart of a believer : it not only, 
like the fpies, brings us tidings, and a glorious report of 
heaven, but it makes heaven to ftoop, and earth to afcend ; 
it brings the believer into the company of the bleffed, and 
brings down the joys of the blefled into his heai t. — Again, 
faith gives pofTcfhon of things future, by incorporating it- 
felf with the promifes, wherein they are contained: the 
promifes of God, do not only declare the good things pro- 
mifed, but they contain, exhibit, and convey them to the 
foul ; and hence they are called, hreafls of confolation. Now, 
faith mixes and incorporates itfelf with the promifes, and 
makes the things promifed its own; and thus it is ready to 
fay, " Here is a promife of God, who cannot fay and un- 
" fay ; and this promife will put me in poiTeffion of hea- 
*' ven, and all bleflednefs: by this promife I expecl to 
" meet the faithful in heaven, and to fit down with A- 
'' braham, Ifaac, and Jacob there: by this promife I can 
'' look for the deftruction of fin ; by this promife, for the 
bruiling of Satan under my feet ; by this, I can look for 
freedom from all temptation, dcfertion, and trouble." 
Faith effects this likewife, by giving the fouls of believers 
a tafle of the goodnefs of the promifed bleflings, which, 
if they were not made prefcnt, is impoflible. It does it by 
giving a reprefentation of their beauty and glory to the 
foul, whereby they are feen as if they were prefent ; Be- 
holding as in a glafs the glory of the Lord, What is the rea- 
fon that carnal men, leave Chrifl and glory for the plea- 
fures of a prefent world ? The things of the world are pre- 
fcnt to them, w^hereas Chrifl and the happinefs of the o- 
ther world, through the want of faith, are altogether un- 
feen and unknown. — Again, what is the reafon that the 
Lord's people can forego all prefent advantages for Chrill? 

2l6 A Sight of CUKIS,T, 

It is juft by their faith mixing itfelf with the promife, 
which is the foundation of their hope. 

5. In natural fight there is a ?nediu7n to render the ob- 
jed confpicuous. The iharpeft fight cannot fee in the 
dark: juft fo, the Lord is only feea by the light of the 
Holy Ghoft. The Holy Ghoft when he works faith in a 
foul, and reveals Chriii: and fpiritual things to it, does tivo 
things ; he firft gives a new underftanding, a new eye, as 
it were, that is as well fuited to behold Chrift and fpiri- 
tual things, as the natural eye is to behold colours ; 
I John V. 20. And ive know that the Son of man is come^ 
and hath given us an underftanding that we may know him 
that is true. He does not create a new faculty, but en- 
dues the old one with a new activity, which is as much 
as if he gave a new underftanding ; and when he hath 
done fo, he himfclf caufes new light to fliine into this 
new underftanding J which light conveys the image of 
fpiritual things, in a fpiritual way to the mind, fuch as 
no form of words, no reafoning, nor all the wit and parts 
of men, no difcourfes about Chrift and fpiritual things, 
could ever produce. If the angels, who have feen the 
Lord in his glory in heaven, fhould all come down, and 
ufe all their art and rhetoric ; if they fhould come with all 
pencils to paint, and fet out our Lord Jefus in the moft 
lively manner ; yet all they could do, or fay, could not 
give fuch a fight of Chrift as we have by faith. 

6. Natural fight ferves for direction^ and fo does faith; 
Heb. xii. i. Let us run with patience the race that is fet be- 
fore us^ looking u7ito Jefus the author and finifher of our faith. 
The people of God while here, are travellers through the 
wildernefs of this world, to their eternal home above: 
Well, whereby is it that they fteer their courfe ? Is it by 
fight or fenfe ? no ; it is by faith ; they do not take their 
marks to that land by fight ; as the men of this world do, 
who choofe that road which they fee the multitude have 
travelled in j but by faith^ they look to the word, and 

the Chrijlians Joy. 217 

dlfcover our Lord Jefus to be the only way to God ; and 
holinefs to be the zualking in that way^ and fteer their 
couife accordingly ; frejfing forward towards the mark for 
the prize. In the world above, they will walk by ^ght, 
but while here they walk by faith: fight is for heaven, 
and faith is for earth ; they therefore govern and direct 
their lives by the power and influence of faith ; / live by 
the faith of the Son of God, O the advantage the people 
of God have above the carnal and unregenerate world! How 
does the world walk? not by faith, for they have none; 
nor by the fight of heaven, for they are not there; and 
continuing as they are, never fliall get there: fo they have 
neither faith nor fight. What do they live by then ? By 
fenfe and fancy : by fenfe, as to the prefent world ; and 
by fancy and vain conceit, as to the world to come: but 
the believer lives by faith. 

7. Natural fight is a very comfortahk thing; Eccl. xi. 7. 
Truly light is fweet^ and a f leaf ant thing it is for the eyes 
to behold the fun : jufl fo, faith^s views of our Lord Jefus 
ravifh the foul ; i Pet. i. 8. Whom having not feen^ ye love ; 
in whom though now ye fee hirfi not^ yet believing^ ye rejoice 
with joy unfpeakable and full of glcry. How pleafant is it, 
when the clouds evanilli, and the day-flar arifes on the 
heart, to give the light of the knowiege of the glory of God in 
the face of Jefus Chrifl / All new difcoveries are pleafant 
to the foul. The dehghts of learning do far furpafs the 
delights of fenfe : O then, what pleafure and delightmuft 
there be in a difcovery of the Lord, who is an infinitely 
excellent and amiable object! The undeiilanding is the 
higheil faculty, and God is the higheit object. O what 
fweetnefs and fatisfaction mufl there be when thefe two 
meet ! Meditation of him muft indeed be fweet. 

8. The eye is a very tender organ. The leafl mote will 
diflurb the eye : juft fo, faith is a very tender grace. The 
leaft duft of lin will difturb it ; and hence we are injoined to 
hold the myflery of faith in a good confcience : ;i good confci- 

E e 

ii8 J Sight </ Christ, 

ence is the bottom faith fails on; and if the confcience be 
wrecked, how can it be thought that faith fliould be fafe? 
As faith is the jewel, a good confcience is the cabinet in 
which it is kept ; and if the cabinet be broken j the jewel 
muft be in danger of being loft. 

9. Sight is a very piercing fenfe; it can look through 
things that intervene betwixt it and the object: jufl fo, 
faith in our Lord Jefus, can pierce and penetrate through 
thick clouds betwixt it and its object. When the promife 
was given to Abraham, he was childlefs, and remained fo 
a long time: according to the courfe of nature, his ow^n 
body and Sarah's womb were dead ; and after he had a 
fon, God commands him to Hay him, and offer him in 
facrifice : a command not only againft his natural affeclion, 
but againft his hope ; and then afterwards his feed was 
few in number for a long time, and when they did mul- 
tiply, they were oppreifed. All which was revealed to 
Abraham ; but he believed in hope again]} hope^ Rom. iv. 18. 
His faith pierced through all thefe difficulties, and refted 
in the faithfulnefs and power of God. 

Remark 2. " There are feveral ^/^j wherein the Lord 
*' is to be feen :*' fuch as, 

1. The Lord is to be feen in the glafs of the creatures. 
The whole w'orld is like a looking-glafs, v/hich, whole and 
entire, reprefents the glorious image of God ; and every 
broken piece of it, every little fherd of a creature, doth 
the like ; not only the great ones, as the elephant and le- 
viathan, but ants, flies, and worms. Kis name is glori- 
ous, and his attributes excellent in all the earth, in every 
creature : as the glory of the fun is in every beam, and 
fmaller fiaih ; fo he is feen in ev^ery infecl and pile of grafs ; 
Horn. i. 19, 20. Becaufe thai which may he kncruun of God ^ 
is manifejl in them ; for God hath fh ewe d it unto them : for the 
invifhle thirigs cf hi?iu from the creation of the world, are clear' 
ly feen, being under flood by the things that are made* The 
unfeea God hath made all tilings that he may be feen in 

the Chrijlians Jo)\ 21 9 

them ; and therefore we ihould give him the glory o{ his 
power, wifdom, and goodnefs dlfcovcred thereby. It is 
true, he cannot be fecn in this glafs, as Redeemer, but as 
Creator: a fight of him as Mediator, is merely a matter 
of faith; — but fenfe will lead us to fee God creator. If 
we fee a ftrcam, that aiuires us there is a fountain ; if we 
fee a goodly palace, it allures us it had a builder : and if 
the ftreams be full, O what is the fountain! If the palace 
be magnificent, how magnificent was the builder ! 

2, The Lord is to be feen in the glais of proz-idence. 
His glory is to be feen in hib upholding, as well as mak- 
ing all things by the word of his power. — There are in 
divine providence many things, wherein we may behold 
the glory of God's infinite power, wifdom, holinefs, ju- 
fiice, and goodnefs, fhining forth; particularly in his works 
oi ?nercy^ towards his church and people: hence the Pfal- 
mift fays, when celebrating God's works of mercy to his 
church; His work is honourable and glorious : and praying 
for the church, he fays. Let thy work appear unto thy fer^ 
va?itSy and thy glory to their children, — In his works of j'udg- 
metit likewifc, he manifefls the glory of his power, and 
of his infinite holinefs, and hatred of fin: hence Mofes in 
his fong celebrates the glory of thefe divine perfections in 
the overthrow of the Egyptians ; Thy right hand is become 
glorious in power; and who is a God like unto thee^ glorious 
in holinefs^ fearful in praifes^ doing wonders I 

3. The Lord is to be feen in the glafs of the fcriptures ; 
Search the fcriptures^ for thefe are they that teftify of me. And 
here his glory is to be feen, firft in the law ; and fecond- 
}y, in the gofpel. 

(i.) The glory of God is to be feen in the law ; Hab. 
iii. 3. God came from Teman^ and the holy One from mount 
Paran, Selah, His glory covered the heavens^ and the earth 
was full of his praife* In the tremenduous man?ier of giv- 
ing it from mount Sinai, he is to be feen in his terrible 
majefty, and unlimited fovereignty j there his chariot^ 

E e 2 


220 A Sight ij/ Christ, 

were twenty thoufandj even thoufands of angels. There he 
is feen in his unfpotted holinefs, in the purity and extent 
of the precept. — In the nature of thefe precepts, God has 
difplayed much of his goodnefs, for in them nothing is 
required of man, but what is for his interell and peace; 
hence it is faid, In keeping them there is great reward. — In 
thtfandion of it, he is to be feen in his ftricl juftice and- 
equity ; for he hath faid, He will by no means clear the 

(2.) The glory of God is to be feen in the gofpel ; 
2 Cor. iii. 18. We all with open face ^ beholding as in a glafs 
the glory of the Lord^ are changed into the fame i?nage, from 
glory to glory ^ even as by the Spirit of the Lord, There we 
may fee him in the glory of his wifdom, in reconciling the 
attributes of mercy and truth, righteoufnefs and peace, 
"which by the fall of man feemed to be at variance among 
themfelves. Wifdom is difplayed in reconciling obflinate 
iinners, and rebellious enemies: in one word, wifdom, a- 
bove the admiration of the bleiTed angels, is difcovered in 
finding out a way to give greater fatisfaclion to offended 
juftice, by fhewing mercy to, and faving finners, than c- 
ver he could have received, either by their confuiion, or 
annihilation.— There we may fee the glory of his goodnefs; 
and mercy, of that good-will towards men which brought 
glory to God, and to the ^arth peace; for the gofpel is, 
as it were, a love-token, or commendatory epiftle to the 
church. — There we may fee the glory of his grace ; the 
grace of his favour towards us, and the graces of his Spi- 
rit in us : The law was given by Mofes^ but grace and truth 
came by Jefus Chrifl : grace,, that \s^ favour^ inftead of God's; 
fury ; and Jlrength^ inftead of man's infirmity ; for becaufe 
man was unable to fulfil the law, therefore the law came 
with wrath and curfes againft him : but in the gofpel their 
is abundance of grace, even a whole kingdom of grace; 
Qrace E.EIGNS through righteoufnefs.—ln fliort, all the glory 
gf God is (o te feeA in the gofpel ^ Ti^e God who. at jirfl 

the Chr'ijlians Joy. 221 

commanded the light to JJnne out of darkyiefs^ hath fhined in our 
hearts^ to (five the li^rht of the hiow/cdge of the glory of God 
in the face of jfefus Chrijh 

4. The Lord is to be feen in the glafs of gofpel-ordinances; 
iind hence they are by fome reprel'ented as a fea of glafs, 
bccaufe of then' tranfparency. 

(i.) The Lord is to be feen in the preaching of the gof- 
pel ; GaL iii. i. Before whofe eyes Jefus Chrift hath been e- 
videntlyfet ferth^ crucified among you. Wherever the gofpel 
comes, our Lord is prefented to men and women, to be 
difcerned by faith. In the word of the gofpel, the picture 
of our Lord is drawn to the life ; in his incarnation, life, 
and death ; in his ability, fuitablenefs, and readinefs to 
fave finners ; and there we may fee him as in a looking- 
glafs, 2 Cor. iii. 18. Our Lord Jefus Chrift is the great 
gofpel theme to be infifted on, i Cor. ii. 2. For I determin- 
ed not to know any thing among you^ fave Jefus Chrift^ and 
him crucified. He is the fum and centre of all divine re- 
\»ealed truth : neither is any thing to be preached to men, 
as an object of their faith, or neceilary to their falvation, 
which does not, fome way or other, meet in him, or refer 
to him. 

(2.) He is to be feen in the facraments of baptifn and 
the Lord^sf upper. As in the word he is reprefented to the 
ear, fo in the facraments he is reprefented to the eye. — 
In the facrament of baptifn ; for the baptizing with water, 
iignifies his blood fprinkled upon the foul, wafliing away 
the guilt of fin, and his Spirit poured upon the foul, waffl- 
ing away the filth, power, and ftain of fin. But cfpeci- 
ally the facrament of the Lord'' sf upper is as a clean glafs, 
wherein we may fee his glory. This ordinance is juft an 
image of Chrift crucified ; it is his picflurc as he hung up- 
on the crofs, a man of forrows, broken and bruifed by 
his Father in the day of his great wrath, and great love ; 
when his body was torn, his foul in a dreadful agony, his 
|iands and his feet nailed, his fide pierced, and his blood 



222 A Sight of CUKJST,. 

filed : T^/V zV my body broken for you; and this cup is the new 
^eflament in my blood; that is, " this broken bread is my 
body, fpiritually and facramentally ; or it fignifies and 
reprefents my body, and is a vifible fign of its being 
broken, bruifcd, and crucified; yea, crucified for you, 
O worthy communicant, and even wounded for your 
*' tranfgredion :" and as the external elements in the 
Lord's-fupper give a plain reprefentation of the death and 
fufFerings of Chrift to the eye of the body ; fo anfwerably 
we ought to fet the things reprefented by thefe elements, 
viz. the death of Chrift, with the matchlefs love therein 
cxpreiTed, before the eyes of our mind, in order to beget 
a frefh remembrance of that dying love, and to raife our 
faith and hope in a crucified Saviour. — I might have men- 
tioned feveral other duties and ordinances, fuch as, me- 
ditation, prayer, reading the word, and the like, which 
are all glaiTes wherein we may have a delightful view of 
the Lord; but I pafs them. 

Remark 3 . " There are various feafons at which the dif- 
" ciples fee the Lord." Indeed, the Lord has not limited 
himfelf to any particular time ; and it were high prefump- 
tion for us to limit him : but what I mean is, there are 
fomc fpecial times and feafons, at which mod frequently 
and ufually they are allowed to fee the Lord ; fuch as, 

I . The day of converjton ; and hence the Spoufe exhorts 
the daughters of Jerufalem, Go forth ^ ye daughters of Je- 
rufalem^ and behold kin<T Solomon with the crown wherewith 
his mother crowned him^ in the day of his efpoufals^ and in 
the day of the gladnef of his hearty Song iii. 11. The co- 
ronation-day of a king, being the marriage day betwixt 
him and his people, is ufually folemnized with all figns 
and demonftrations of joy and gladnefs : thus when the 
crown of Ifrael was fet upon the head of Solomon, k is 
faid. All the people came up after him^ and the people piped 
with ppes^ and rejoiced with great joy: and juft fo it is 
when thrift is crowned in the fouL Thus when Zaccheus 

the Chnjlians Joy. 223 

came under this King, be came down joyfully ; when the 
Eunuch received him for his King, he went on his way re- 
jolchig: when Samiria fubmitted to his fceptre, there was 
great joy in that city. On the coronation-day of a king, 
he appears in all his royal robes ; he iliines in the eyes of 
his people, more glorioufly than all around him: jiift fo, 
upon the day of our Lord*s coronation in the foul, he ap- 
pears in his glory, far exceeding the glory of angels and 
men, more than the glory of the fun doth that of a glow- 
worm ; and this engages their hearts to him : they fee the 
Son, and believe on him. Ufually at this time, they get 
more engaging and refrefhing views of his glory, than at 
other times, becaufe then they are engaging in difficulties, 
and conflicts with the powers of darknefs, which they were. 
never acquainted with before : yea, ufually at the firfl ap- 
pearance of Chrift to the foul, after it has been wading 
through the darknefs of mount Sinai, it is feized with an 
extafy of admiration. — He wonders at the perfon of Chrift, 
whom he fees to be Immanuel, God with us ; Without con- 
troverfy^ great ii^ the myjlery of godlinefi ; God made manifej} 
inflejh : — he wonders at his love and lovelinefs ; — he won- 
ders at the beauty of holinefs that Ihines in him ; — at the 
everlalling righteoufnefs he has brought in ; — and at the 
colour he has when in the rednefs of his apparrel, Ifa. 
Ixiii. I. M^ho is this that comet h from Edom^ with dyed gar- 
ments from Bozrah f This that is glorious in his apparrel^ tra^ 
veiling in the greatnefs of his ftrength. — In a word, he w^on- 
ders at the bright conftellation of divine and human ex- 
cellencies that center and meet in him. 

2. Another feafon is before fomey^^r^ trial ; hence the 
apoftle tells the Hebrews, that after they were illuminated 
they endured a great fight of afjliciions. Our Lord deals 
thus with his people to prepare them for, and to fupport 
and flrengthen them under trials. Thus Peter, James, 
and John were to be witnefTes to Chrift's agony, and to 
meet with other fharp trials \ and therefore, before thefe 

224 A Sight of Christ, 

they were taken up to the mount to Chrift, wlierc they, 
were witneffes to his transfiguration, and faw his glory: 
When the caftle is viclualled, then our Lord fufl'ers the 
devil to lay liege. As it was with the new-covenant Head ; 
no fooner had he received a voice from heaven, declaring 
the divine complacency in his perfon and work, than he 
was led by the Spirit into the wildei nefs to be tempted of 
the devil : fo it has been with the members all along ; as 
Abraham, Gen. xxii. i. And it came to pafs after thefe things ^ 
that God did tempt Abraham; that is, after thefe promifes 
made to him, chapter xv.; after taking him into cove- 
nant, and appending the feal thereof; after giving him 
Ifaac, who had been fo long wrapt up in the womb of the 
promife, as well as Sarah's dead womb : when perhaps A- 
braham was thinking the ftorms were all blown over, im- 
mediately he muft encounter a fharper trial than any or 
all he had met with ; Take now thy fon^ thine only fon Ifaac ^ 
whom thou Icvefl^ and offer him for a burnt offering. So 
Paul, after his rapture had his buffetings, 2 Cor. xii. 7. 
And lefl I fhould be exalted above 7neafure, through the abun^ 
dance of the revelations^ there was given unto me a thorn in 
the fleflj^ themeffenger of Satan to buffet me. This fays that 
the wealceft believer fhould not defpond, nor the ftrongeft 
be fecure. Let not the weakefl defpond ; there will be a 
proportion between your manifeftations and your afflifti- 
ons. When our Lord has fitted you he will call you out 
to the field of battle, and not before : God is faithful^ who 
will not_ fuffer you to be tempted above what you are able to 
hear, — Let not the flrongeft be fecure ; for our Lord will 
not fuffer any of your grace to lie idle and unemployed, 
while in this world. 

3. Another feafon is, when the Lord's people are un- 
der great trials and afflidions. The people of God feldoni 
enjoy earthly fulnefs and heavenly manifeilations at once, 
as the fun and flars appear not together ; but when God 
fliuts up all doors of help and hope ui the world, then 

the Chrijlians Joy^ 225 

he fcts open the doors of heaven : thus when Jacob was a 
poor weary pilgrim in a ftrange land, he faw the heaven- 
ly ladder, and the angels of God afcending and defcend- 
ing upon it. There is not a prifon into which the faints 
are call, but it has a window in it facing the palace. Mount 
Calvary is often made a mount Tabor, where they have a 
fight of God in his glory. Golgotha becomes a mount 
Pifgah, whence they may look over Jordan, and fee the 
land of promife, and the Lord of that land. Thus it is 
obferved of Stephen, the firll new-teflament martyr; Acls 
vii. 55. He looked up ftedfaflly to heaven^ and faw the glory 
cf God, and jefus ftand'ing on the right hand of God* O 
what an heaven was there within, that made fuch a di- 
vine luftre appear in his face ! His joy was too big for his 
heart, and therefore his fate mufl have its fliare; he look^ 
ed up and faw heaven : looking down he might fee hell 0^ 
fened, as it were, and all his tormentors about him, the 
fons of death ready to devour and fwallow him up ; but 
looking up he faw Jefus. — Thus our Lord fupports and 
comforts his people under all their tribulations. 

4. When God is calling them to dangerous and difficult 
fervices. God, you know% called Mofes to bring the chil- 
dren of Ifrael out of Egypt, a work wherein he was to 
meet with the greateft hardiliips and difliculties, having 
to do with a powerful and angry king. Well, what was 
it that fupported him in this critical fituation? It was a 
fight of the Lord ; Lleb. xi. 27. By faith Mofes feared not 
the wrath of the khig, for he endured as feeing him who is 
invifible, A fight of the Lord lightens the heart, and in- 
fpires the foul with fuch courage and joy, that tho' death 
and hell, and ail imaginable danger, were in the foul's 
way, it will not be afraid. 

5. Another feafon is, when a poor believer is wading 
out of the darknefs and horrors of defcrtion. When after 
a long and weary time, in which he has been made to cry 
out^ Will the Lord cafl off for toer f and will be be favour^ 

F f 

226 A Sight ^/^ Christ, 

able no more f is his tnercy clean gone for ever f doth his pro- 
m'lfe fail for evermore ^ hath God forgotten to be gracious f 
hath he in anger fhut up his tender mercies f When, I fay, 
after a long time of fuch deep defponding complaints, the 
believer's faith gets the afcendant again, and he can lay 
claim to the favour of God as formerly. Thus it was 
with < the Pfalmift, I f aid this is mine infirmity: but I will 
remember the years of the right hand of the moft High^ Pfa. 
Ixxvii. 10. 

6. Another feafon is •3ihtY grievous falls and backflidings 
from the Lord; Hof ii. 13, 14. I will viftt upon her the 
days of Baalim^ wherein Jhe burnt incetife to them; and fhe 
decked herfelf with her ear-ring-s, and her jewels^ and fhe 
went after her lovers^ and for gat me^ faith the Lord. There 
is grievous backfliding ; but what follows ? "Therefore^ be- 
hold I will allure her^ and bring her into the wilder nefs ^ and 

fpeak comfortably unto her. In order to difplay the fovereign 
freedom of his grace, he manifefts himfelf to a backfliding 
foul, and courts it back with his kindncfs, faying, as in 
Ifa. xliii. 22. Thou hajl not called upon me^ Jacob ; but 
thou hafl been weary of me^ Tfrael : ver. 24, 25. But thou 
haft made me to ferve with thy fins ; thou hafl wearied me 
with thine i?iiquities, /, even I am he^ that blotteth out thy 
tranfjrejfions for mine own fake ; and will not remember thy 
Jtns, O the amazing condefcenfion of our Lord, that when 
his people deferve a frown they Ihould get a fmile ! 

7. Another feafon is at a communioyi-table : Luke xxiv. 
'^ 5 . And they told what things were done in the way^ and 
how he was known of them in breaking of bread* This ordi- 
nance is ufually a tryfting-place betwixt him and them, 
where they find what a good table our Lord keeps, and 
w^hat a kind heart and bountiful hand he has. In this or- 
dinance our Lord is fet forth before us as evidently cru- 
cified; and, like the Jews, we are called to go forth y and 
behold the man. Then our Redeemer has often been pleafed 
to make his grace, in concurrence with his ordinance, to 

the Chnjlians Joy. 227 

work upon their hearts, and to make their faith lively and 
vigorous, fpeaking to them as to Thomas, Reach hither 
thy finger^ and behold my hands ; and reach hither thv hand 
and thruft it info my fide ^ and be not fait hlefs^ but believing; 
which makes them like him cry out. My Lord and my God. 
At communion feafons, they have fometimes got fuch 
fights of the Lord, as have folved their doubts, remov- 
ed their fears, loofed theu^ bands, enlarged their hearts, 
weakened their corruptions, cleared their evidences, fup- 
plied their wants, and fatisfied their defires. Yea, upon 
communion-days they have enjoyed heaven upon earth : 
it has made them fay with the difciples at the mount, Lord^ 
it is good for us to be here, They have feen, as it were, 
the door opened in heaven ; and heard, as it were, a voice 
talking with them, and faying. Come up hither^ and I will 
fiew you 7narvellous things, 

8. The hour of dea^h is another feafon. Many of his 
people who have been kept in bondage during their life- 
time, get a difcovery of him at death, which makes their 
hearts to rejoice. As Jacob, when he laid himfelf down to 
lleep, faw in a viiion, a ladder whofe top reached unto 
heaven : fo, when the people of God lay themfelves down 
to fleep the fleep of death, they have often a viiion or dif- 
covery of the Lord. Old Simeon had a gracious promife 
that he fhould not taile of death, till he had feen the Lord's 
Chrift ; and accordingly he got it fuliilled : Lord^ now let- 
tefl thou thy fervant depart in peace^ according to thy word^ 
for mine eyes have feen thy falvation, O how fweet a 
feafon for dying, when the promife was fulfilled, and he 
had Chrift in his arms, and faith and love in his heart, 
buifting out into a fong! The apoftle Paul feems to have 
left the ftage in the fame comfortable manner; 2 Tim. iii. 
6, 7, 8. For I am now ready to be offered^ and the time of my 
departure is at hand: I have fought a good fight ; I have fi^' 
nijhed my courfe ; I have kept the faith : henceforth there is 
laid up for me a crown of right eoufnefs^ which the Lord^ the 

Ff 2 


1^28 A Sight of Christ, 

righteous judge, Jhall give me at that day. Failing through 
the great cloud of witneffes, with which we are compaffed 
about in fcripture, I fhall mention only the well-known 
faying of one of the peers of Scotland, who fuffered in 
the late perfecuting period. On the morning before his 
execution, he fpoke to his friends in a rapture of joy: 
^' I thought to have concealed the Lord's goodnefs ; but 
it will not do. 1 am now ordering my fecular affairs ; 
and God is fealing my charter to a better inheritance, 
anci juft now faying to me, Son, be of good chear, thy fins 
are forgiven thee-''' And at leaving the room, to go to 
the fcaffold, he faid, — " I could die like a Roman; but I 
*' rather chufe to die like a Chri/lian,'' 

Re77iark 4. *' That there are feveral refpeSfs wherein the 
*' difciples may be faid to fee the Lord :" fuch as, 

I. When he draws near their fouls by influences of 
light, giving them gracious difcoveries of himfelf, and of 
fpiritual things; fuch as, 

(i.) When he gives them fuch a difcovery of the glo- 
rious ferfeclions of God, in his own perfon, as makes deep 
impreffions upon their hearts. Since men fell from God 
by fm, it is no fmall part of their punifliment and mifery, 
that they are covered with thick darknefs and ignorance 
of the nature of God : and this is the fpring of all the 
wickednefs and eonfufion, whereby the fouls of men have 
been crouded into eternal deftrucllon : but in our Lord 
Jefus, all the perfections of the nature of God are illuftri- 
Oufly difplayed ; and hence he is faid to be the brightnefs 
(f the Father'* s glory, and the exprefs i?nage of his ferfon. 
Well, when he is pleafed to give his people a difplay 
of thefe perfeclions in him, which produces deep and lafl- 
ing imprellions on their fouls, then they^^^ the Lord ; as 
when he difcovers to their fouls, the immenfe greatnefs of 
God, fo as to fill them with holy fear and reverence of 
}iim, and humble them under a lenfe of their own no- 
tfiingnefs before him, as he did to Abraham^ Gen. xviiL 

the Chriflians Joy. 229 

2 7 . Behold now I have taken upon me to /peak to the Lordy 
which am but dujl and ajhes. When he lets them fee the 
infinite holinefs of God, fo as to humble them under a 
fenfe of their own vilenefs and fmfulnefs before him, and 
makes them cry out with Ifalah, l¥o is me! for I am a ?nan 
of unclean lips. When he lets them fee his mercy and 
goodnefs, fo as to make them wonder thereat, crying out 
with David, Who am /, Lord God, and what is mine 
houfe that thou hafl brought me hitherto? When he lets 
them have fuch a view of the faithfulnefs and veracity of 
God, as beo'ets truft and holv confidence in their fouls ; 
Heb. xiii. 5. I %vill never leave thee nor forfake thee: and 
what is the efTecV of fuch a difcovery ? The Lord is my helper , 
what can man do unto mef 

(2.) When he gives them a difcovery of the glory of 
the conflitution of his pcrfon, they may be faid to fee the 
Lord. There are in his perfon, two diflincl natures united, 
the highefl intelleclual with the lowefl, infinite and finite, 
glory and mifery, eternity and time ; and in this refpect 
he is exceeding glorious : for thereby he is one with God 
who was offended, and one with man who had finned, 
that he might pay a price fufHcient for the one, and ac- 
ceptable to the other. This is that lingular expreiHon of 
divine wifdom, goodnefs, and power, wherein God will 
be admired and glorified to ail eternity. The depths of 
divine wifdom, in this mafler-piece of the workmanfhip 
of God, are hid from the eyes of all living ; God alone 
underflandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place 
thereof : yet it is fo glorious in its efFecls that the fame of 
it reaches even to hell; deflrudion and death fay, we have 
heard the fame of it with our ears. Well, when a poor 
foul is allowed to ftand at the fliore of this ocean, and a- 
dore its unfearchable depths, crying out, the depth of 
the riches both of the wifdom and knowledge of God! how un- 
fearchable are his judgments ; and his ways pafl finding out ! 
This is lofec th^ Lord to purpofe. — Many in our day can 

23^ ^ 5z^^/ ^ Christ, 

fee no glory In the conftitution of the perfon of Chrift: 
but it is the glory of our rehgion, the glory of the church, 
the rock on which it is built, and the only fpring of pre- 
fent grace and of future glory. 

(3.) When they are allowed to fee the divine fulnefs 
dwelling in him, they may be faid to fee the Lord : when 
they fee that there is a fulnefs oi grace in him, anfwerable 
to all our fouls wants and miferies ; — a fulnef$ of light, for 
our darknefs ; — a fulnefs of life, for our deadnefs ; — of 
flrength, for our weaknefs ; — and of merit for our guilt : 
that there is in him a fulnefs and fuitablenefs of offices^ 
being anointed a prophet, to cure our ignorance ; a prieft, 
to atone for our guilt ; and a king, to refcue us from the 
bondage of our enemies : that there i& in him a fulnefs and 
fuitablenefs of relations ; — that he flands in the relation of 
a phyfician, to cure all our difeafes ; — of an advocate, to 
plead for our acceptance with God ; — of a Surety, to clear 
our long accompts to law and juftice ; — of a fhepherd, to 
feek our ftraying fouls ; — of a brother, to fympathize with 

us under trials. In a word, when they are allowed to 

fee that in him dwells all the fulnefs of the godhead bodily, 
X}si&j fee the Lord, 

2 . They fee the Lord, when he draws near and com- 
municates influences of life to their fouls, by fending forth 
his quickening Spirit, to put life in their graces : as, when 
he actuates their faith, and enables them to come to him- 
felf, lay the buixien of their iniquities upon him, and ven- 
ture all their falvation into his hands; — when he quickens 
repentance, and makes the heart melt into godly forrow 
for fin : when he kindles love in the heart, and makes it 
burn while he talks with thera^ and opens to them the fcrif- 
tures^ difcovering the wonders in his law; or when he 
draws out the defires and pan tings of the foul towards 
himfclf, and every thing about him, fo as they will admit 
no fatisfaclion, nor find reft any where but in the enjoy- 
ment of himfelf. Pfal. Ixiii. i, 2. God^ thou art my God; 

the Chrijlians Joy. 231 

early wlU I feek thee : my foul thirjieth for thee ; my/Ie/Jy Icng- 
eth for thee in a dry and thirjly land where no water isy to 
fee thy -power and thy glory ^ fo as I have fee n thee in the fanc^ 

3. They fee the Lord when he draws near them and 
communicates flreyigthening influences to their fouls: as 
when he feafonably fteps in, and fupports their weak faith, 
their ftaggering hope, and fainting hearts, when ready to 
fink with fears and difcouragements ; Ifa. xli. 10. Fear 
thou not\y for I am with thee ; be not dfmayed for I am thy 
God, Or when he encourages them to undertake, and 

• enables them to perform the hardefl duties, with delight 
and activity, counting it their meat and their drink to do 
the will of their heavenly father: or, when he enables them 
to conquer and fubdue their ftrong lufts and corruptions, 
and to reiift all temptation, and to make Satan fly like a 
coward : or by animating them to a patient bearing of the 
crofs ; Pfal. cxxxviii. 3 . In the day when I cried ^ thou an^ 

fweredfl me^ and jlrengthenedjl me with ftrength in my fouL 

4. When he draws near and communicates comforting 
influences to them ; as by clearing up the evidences of their 
grace to them, fo that they can fay. He loved me, and gave 
himfelf for me. Before, they queflioned the reality of their 
faith, but now they can fay with the poor man in the 
gofpel, Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief : — before, 
they doubted if they had any love to our Lord Jefus, but 
now they can appeal with Peter ; faying, Lord, thou know- 
eft all things, thou knowefl that I love thee : — or by clearing 
up their intereft in our Lord Jefus, and all the bleflings of 
his purchafe, fo that they can fay with the Spoufe, My 
beloved is mine, and J am his : and neither lin nor death 
fhall difolve the relation ; Who fhall feparate us from the love 
cf God f— or by intimating to them the pardon of their i- 
niquities, by whifpering fuch a word as that. Son, be of 
good chear, thy fins are forgiven thee: — or by looling their 
bands, and allowing them free accefs to tlie throne of his 

232 J Sight o/' Christ, 

grace; fo as they can pour their prayer into his bofoiHj 
and refufe to let him go till he blefs them: — or by his 
bringing them into his banquetting-houfe, fhedding abroad 
the love of God in their hearts, and fiUing them with joy 
and peace in believing: folving their doubts, removing 
their fears, and making them to hear the voice of joy and 
gladnefs : confcience acquitting them ; and God fmiling on 
them, and kifiing them with the kiflesof his mouth, which 
are fweeter to them than honey from the comb. 

Rejuark 5 . " That this fight of the Lord hath feveral 
" properties in it:" fuch as, 

1. It is a dijlinfi fight ; 2 Cor. iii. 18. We all with open 
face beholding as in a glafs the glory of the Lord. — It is a di- 
llinct fight in comparifon of what the Jews had under the 
law. Under the old Teflament the glory of the Lord was 
wTapt up in a cloud of legal facrifices, and dark prophe- 
cies : but prophecies are now accompliflicd, and the 
iliadow of lecfal ceremonies is evaniflied, Chrifl: the bodv 
being come : fo that now we behold the glory of God with 
cpen face. — It is difi:incl likewife confidered fimply: we 
have diftincl views of the Lord's excellencies in their af- 
fecting glory ; fo the apoflle tells us, "That the God who at 

firft commanded the light to fhine outofdarknefs^ hath fhined 
into cur hearts. The fight of faith is fo difiincl, that there 
can be nothing beyond it in this world : it can only be 
fuperceded by the light of glory. 

2, It is hut partial and ohfcure. Though it be difi:incl5 
as with open face ; yet it is likewife obfcure, being as in a 
glafs. The foul is not now capable of the fulled and 
clearefl: manifeftations of our Lord : the luftre and bright- 
nefs of his glory is fo great, that fliould he let forth the 
beams of it, it would prefently dazzle and amaze us ; yea, 
it would fi;rike us dead. Thus the beloved difciple, who 
had been ufed to lean on his bofom in the intimate fami- 
liarities of his love, fell at Chrifl's/^^/ as one dead^ when 
he appeared to him afterward in his glory, Rev. i. 17. It 

the Chrj/llans Joy. ^33 

Is therefore hereafter, and not here, that believers fhall 
have a full manifeliation of his gloiy, arid fee him as he is: 
while here, many things are interpofcd ; Song ii. 9. Be- 
hold he ftandeth behind our wall^ he koketh forth at the win- 
doivs^ Jheioing hi mf elf through the latleffes. There is a great 
interpofition betwixt him and lis ; there Is a wall which 
he now ftandeth behind, and which mull be demoliflied 
before we can fee him as he is : this wall is our mortal 
ftate ; only he gives us fometimes a view of himfelf thro* 
the windows of gofpcl ordinances, and difplays his glory 
through the lattefTcs imperfeclly and darkly. 

3. It is but a franfient light v/hile we are below. Our 
Lord fometimes ^ives a difcoverv of himfelf, and then 
withdraws and hides himfelf from our view ; then faith Is 
at a lofs: we may feek him, but cannot iind him ; fo Job 
complains. Behold I go forward^ but he is not there ; and 
backward^ but I cannot perceive him : on the left hand where 
he doth work^ but I cannot behold him ; he hideth himfelf on 
the right hand that 1 cannot fee him^ Job xxiii. 8,9. As 
under the fame means of grace he manifefts himfelf to 
fome, and not to others, John xiv, 22.; fo, In the fame 
manner, he fometimes hides his face from fome of his 
people, and turns away the liglit of his countenance, whilft 
others are comforted and cherifhcd thereby. 

4. It Is ifupernatural fight. The iin of the firft Adam 
put out our fight, and the grace of the fecond Adam re- 
ftores it: There is a faculty or fpirit in man^ but the infpi ra- 
tion of the Ahmighty giveth them underjlanding. We fee not 
the natufal fun, but by his own light ; fo it is only by the 
light of the Sun of llighteoufnefs, that wc can fee him- 
felf. This the difciples of Chrift acknowledge in that 
queftlon, wherein they admire the riches of his grace, 
John xiv. 22. Lord^ how is it that thou wilt' manifeft thy-, 
felf to us^ and not unto the world f Other knowledge 
may be learned from men, but this is learned only from 
God. It is a knowledge brought down to us, from the 

G s 

234 ^ ^^S^^ o/' Christ, 

bofom of God by his own eternal Son ; For no man hath 
feen God at any time^ the only begotten Son, which is in the 
bofojn of the Father^ he hath declared hi?n. It is a light and 
fight that fprings from the Father of lights, a fruit of di- 
vine teaching : fenfible was Mofes of this, when he cried 
out, / befeech thee JJoew me thy glory. 

5 . It is a real fight, as if the foul had the evidence of 
demonftration ; and hence it is called the evidence of things 
not feen ^ and not a mere guefs or imagination. It is fuch a 
conviction as brings a fulnefs of light with it to clear the 
thing, and confound all difputes againft it : it is fuch an 
evidence as brings fubfiance along with it ; for it is the 
fuhflance of things hoped for : fuch a fight is promifed in the 
days of the gofpel, Ifa. lii. 6. "Therefore my people fh all know 
my name ; they floall know in that day^ that I am he that doth 
fpeak^ behold it is L And fuch a fight is really allowed 
under that period; John xvii. 8. "They have known fur ely 
that I came out from thee^ and they have believed that thou 
didfl fend me. And, indeed, to an enlightened foul there 
is nothing more fure than divine light, though the un- 
regenerate man cannot behold it : for the natural man re- 
ceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God^ for they are foolifh- 
nefs to him ; neither can he know thern^ becaufe they are fpiri- 
tually difcerned, 

6. It is a very fatisfying fight. O what contentment 
and fatisfaclion of foul is there in beholding the beauty of 
the Lord ? In other things the eye is never fatisfied with 
feeing; but here the object being infinite, it mufi: be fuf- 
ficient to fatisfy the panting foul, and fully anfwcr all its 
cravings; John xiv. 8. Shew us the Father, and it fufficeth 
us. 1 he foul of man feems to be boundlefs in its defires, 
therefore it can find fatisfa^lion only in an infinite object; 
and this is God alone. It is true, profane Efau faid, / 
have enough ; and a holy Jacob faid, / have enough : but 
there is as much difference -betwixt their enoughs, as when 
Qjie man faith, I have enough^ by taking a little fulfomc 

the Chrijlians Joy. 235 

phyfick ; and a thirfty man faith, I have enough, when 
he has taken a fufficient draught of water to quench his 

7. It IS a moft neceffary fight. Without this our hearts 
can never be engaged to the Lord. Until we fee his glory, 
our hearts will never come off from other things ; nor 
will we ever be perfuaded to feek our happinefs in the 
enjoyment of himfelf : but whenever we fee him, it weans 
our hearts and affeclions from the world, and all earthly 
delights. Unlefs we fee his glory in the glafs of gofpel 
ordinances here, we fhall never fee it in heaven ; for there 
the fight of faith will be heightened into that of immedi- 
ate vifion. — Such a fight is moft neceffary to engage us to 
duty, to ftrengthen us againft temptation, to comfort us 
in afHiclion, to make us rejoice in hope of the glory of Gody 
and to change us info his own Ukenefs, 

8. It is a moft alluring fight. It is the nature of all 
true knowledge, that it allures the mind to further pro- 
grefs ; Prov. i. 5. -4 wife man will hear and will increafe 
learning: and chapter xv. 14. 'The heart of him that hath 
underflanding feeketh knowledge: much more are faving and 
fpiritual difcoveries of an engaging nature. Such as have 
got one fight of the Lord, will defire to get another ; com- 
pare two petitions of Mofes, Exod. iii. i 3. and xxxiii. 10. 
One is, What is thy va?nef The other is. Shew me thy glory. 
When God appeared firft, his petition is, Tell me thy name : 
but when he was better acquainted with God, his requeft 
is, Sheiv me thy glory. The more any man is acquainted 
with our Lord, he will be the more defirous of fpiritual 
difcoveries of his glory : a tafte here quickens the appe- 
tite ; hence the apoftle exhorts us, as new born babes to 
defire the fincere milk of the word. 

Remark 6. " That our Lord is a moft comprehenfive ob* 
*' jeB ; and there is nothing about him which, when feen, 
" makes not the difciples glad." Eye hath not feen, nor 
heart conceived, what is to be feen in him. I fhall there- 


23^ A Sight of Christ, 

fore mention only a few things that are to be feen in the 
Lord : as, 

ly?, God is to be feen in him, and that both efTentially 
and peribnally. . 

I. God is to be feen in Chrift effentiaily. And here, 

(i.) In him we fee the holy properties of the divine na- 
ture i?2 their own effential glory, God, in his own effence 
and being is abfolutely incomprehenlibie ; therefore we 
can have no direct intuitive notions or appreheniions of 
the divine efience or attributes : and hence when Mofes 
faid, / befeech thee Jhew me thy glory ; God, for anfwer, 
tells him, ^That he could not fee his face and live : but this 
1 will do faith God, / will make all my glory to pafs before 
ihee^ and thou fj alt fee my back parts ; this is all God would 
grant : fuch external reprefentations of himfelf, in created 
appearances of his glory, as we have of a man whofe back 
parts we behold when he paiTes by us. But, as to the 
properties of his being, we can have no bodily fight or 
direcfi: intuition of them: there was therefore a neceflity 
for a real rcprefentation of them to us ; and this is obtain- 
ed in the perfon of Chriil: he is the complete image and 
perfect reprefentacion of the divine Being and excellencies, 
as they are the object of our faith ; and hence he is ftiled 
the image of the invifible God ; that is, the God whofe na- 
ture, and divine perfections, our underftanding can make 
no approach to, doth in him reprefent and exhibit to our 
faith, all the 2:lorious excellencies of his nature. 

(2.) In him we fee the properties of the divine nature, 
not only as to their" effential glory, but likewife as they 
are in exercife for our falvation.— In him are to be feen the 
wildom, goodnefs, love, grace, mercy, and power of God, 
acting in the contrivance and accoraplifhment of our fal- 
vation : this drives an amazing* luitre to the native amiable- 
nefs of the divine excellencies, as to us. The wifdom, 
power, and other perfections are in themfelves infinitely 
glorious and amiable, but as they are eternally refident in 

the Chriftians Joy. 237 

the divine nature, we cannot have an endearing and fati- 
ating view of their glory ; this we have only as they arc 
exerted in the work of redemption by Chrift : thus the 
beams of their glory fliine upon us with the grcateft luflre, 
to fill us with refrefliment and joy j hence the apoflle, on 
viewing the actings of the divine perfections in this work, 
cries out by way of rapture, the depth of the riches both 
cf the wifdom and knowledge of God! Chrift is the ftage on 
which all thefc perfedlions acl their part : in him fhines the 
glory of the divine wifdom, in contriving redemption ; 
the glory of divine love and grace, in giving his only be- 
<rotten Son to the death for fuch wretches as we are : the 
glory of divine juftice and holinefs, in punifliing the fins 
of the eled in the perfon of his dear Son. In fhort, if ye 
would fee the glory of all the attributes of God, by the 
eye of faith, juft look on Chrift, and there you may fee 
them, for they all center in him. 

(3.) In our Lord are to be feen all the perfections of 
God's nature in perfect harmony, Thefe attributes which 
feemed to interfere with one another in their exercife, 
meet together wdth inexpreffible fweetnefs, and confpire 
together for the welfare of believers. — ^M^ifdom contriving 
for God's glory and our good: — juftice making our iniqui- 
ties meet on the Surety, that they might not lie on us. 
In Chrift wx fee wrath appeafed, juftice fatisfied, and mercy, 
as it were, rejoicing oven judgment. " Patience, as an 
eminent divine fays, rejoices at its indefatigable wait- 
ing j juftice triumphantly brandifhes the bloody fword, 
bathed in the heart of the Redeemer ; and mercy as 
triumphantly kifleth it. In him we fee juftice glorify- 
ing, and mercy finging at the triumphs of juftice ; truth 
holding both threatenings and promifes in conjunction 
in his bofom, all carrefilng one another, and applaud- 
ing the defigns of manifold wifdom, and infinite power, 
which removed the feeming difficulties, and tied a knot 
betwixt time and eternity.'' Thus all the attributes of 

2^38 J Sight of Christ f 

God do meet in Chrift in their glory and fweetnefs, and 
combine in finging one and the fame fong, the burthen 
of which is, Glory to God in the higheft^ on earth peace. 

2. God is to be feen in him perfonally. We may not 
only fee the perfections of the divine nature in him ; but 
alfo the Trinity of perfons in the Godhead: for, In him 
dwells all the fulnefs of the Godhead bodily ; and he is the 
brightnefs of the Fat her'' s glory ^ and exprefs image of his per* 
fin: and therefore fome divines have well obferved, that 
God's end and defign in the work of redemption, was not 
only to glorify the infinite perfections of his nature, but 
alfo to glorify the perfons of the Trinity diftindly, accord- 
ing to the diftincl acls and operations afcribed to them in 
the bufinefs of our falvation: here we have the Father 
contriving and ordering our redemption \ the Son pur- 
chafing; and the Holy Ghofi: applying it. The original 
is from God the Father, the difpenfation through the Son, 
and the application by the Holy Ghofi:. The three diftind 
perfons of the glorious Trinity in their diftin6l perfonal 
properties, had been for ever hid and unfeen by us, if our 
Lord had not been manifefted, and in his light made us 
fee them clearly. 

2^/y, We fee the Mediator betwixt God andman^ when 
w^e fee the Lord : There is one Gody and one Mediator betwixt 
God and man^ the man Chrift Jefus, In that great differ- 
ence between God and man, occafioned by our apoftacy 
from him, which of itfelf could ifluc in nothing but the 
utter ruin of the whole race of Adam; there was none in 
heaven or earth who was meet, or able to conclude a righ- 
teous peace. Yet this mufl: be done by a Mediator, or 
ceafe for ever. In this ftate of matters, the Lord Chrifl:, 
as the Son of God, cries out, Lo, I come^ to do thy will I 
take delight, — What admirable condefcenfion and aftonifliing 
love prefent themfelves to our view in this undertaking ! 
This oflSce did not befal our Lord by chance, it was not 
impofcd on him againfl; his will, it belonged not to him 

the Chrijliatis Joy. 239 

by any neceffity of nature, he ftood in no need of It; but 
of his own accord he gracioully condefcended to be a day's- 
man^ and to lay his hand upon both parties : and hence is 
that injunction of the apoflle, Phil. ii. 5. Let the fame mind 
be in you which was alfo in Chrijl Jefus : who being in the 
form of God ^ — made himfelf of nQ reputation, 

'^dly^ In the Lord, we fee glorious mediatory excellen* 
cies ; fuch as, 

I . Fitnefs for mediating : he was the only fit perfon to 
lay his hands upon both parties. In heaven or earth there 
was not found a fit perfon to mediate betwixt God and 
man, a perfon in whom heaven and earth, God and man, 
were joined ; a perfon equally diftant from, and equally 
near to both parties, till infinite wifdom contrived that 
God fhould be manifefted infieflj, — The Lord is the man who 
is God^s fellow ; and who fo fit to be Mediator between 
God and us as he who was God and man in one perfon ? 
who by partaking of the nature of both parties, would be 
faithful to the interefts of both ; zealous for his Father'^ 
glory, and at the fame time tenderly concerned for the 
welfare of fouls ; who by his being God, was able ; and 
by his being man, was capable to make fatisfaelion to the 
juftice of God for our fins, in fuch a manner as to main- 
tain the honour, and difplay the glory of all the divine 
perfections ; and to purchafe grace and glory for us, in a 
way congruous both to the nature of God and man ? O 
the glorious fitnefs in his perfon, and all that he has done 
for accompliihing our redemption ! And though we now 
perceive but little of this congruityand decorum, yet when 
we come to heaven wc fliall have fuch a bright difplay of 
it in the face of the Lord, as fhall fill us with eternal 
wonder and admiration. 

2 . Ability to fave is another mediatory excellency to be 

feen in the Lord ; Heb. vii. 2 5 . Wherefore he is able alfo to 

fave them to the uttermojl^ that come unto God by him. None, as 

we faid, in heaven or earth was able for the work, if he 

240 A Sight ^Christ, 

had flood by. It would have ilruck palcnefs in the hcc 
of all the angels in heaven to attempt it ; and if they had 
attempted it, they would have been ruined in the attempt, 
and needed a Redeemer themfelves : but he came to fave 
us travelling in the greatnefs of his ftrcyigth ; no bars or ob- 
ftacl^s were able to ftand in his way : as it is faid of the 
fun in the firmament, fo it may be faid of the Sun of 
Righteoufnefs, in the work of our falvation ; He rejoiced 
as a ftrong man to run his race^ and never refled till he had 
brought it to a glorious period : / Imve glorified thee on 
earthy I have finifhed the work thou gavejl me to do, 

3. His wilUngnefs to fave is another mediatory excel- 
lency to be feen in the Lord : as he was fit and able, fo he 
was willing ; and, alas I what would the other two have 
done without the third ? This adds a luftre and a gloiy to 
the other two. What had become of us, and the whole 
human race, if in the grand confultation of the Deity, a- 
bout the redemption of a loft world, he had refufed to 
leave heaven, to bring them out of hell, as juftly he might? 
But he was fo far from that, that at the propofal his love 
rofe like the waters of a mighty ftream, againft oppofiti- 
on ; for hereon he fays, Lo^ I com&! As if he had faid. 
Nothing, I fee, but blood, precious and divine blood, will 
redeem them ; and therefore I will defcend and give my 
blood for their ranfom. 

4. In him we fee the Father's honorary fervant ; — Ifa. 
xlii. I . Behold 7ny fervant^ whom I uphold. Our blefTed 
Lord Jefus took on this fervice for, and in the law-room 
and Head of others, who were bound to it, but utterly 
unable to fulfil it. The cup is found in Benjamin's fack, 
and therefore he muft be kept a bond-man in Egypt : nay, 
fays Judah, Let me abide ^ i?iflead of the lad, a bond-man to 
my Lord, and let Benjamin go. An eled world is found 
guilty before the Lord, and therefore muft be bond-men 
for ever, as well as the reft of the world : " Nay, Father, 
^"^ fays our Lord, who fprang of Judah, I will take their 

the Chri/iians Joy, 24 1 

'' ftate of fervitude upon me ; let me be the bond-man in 
" their ftead, and let them go free." So be it, fay 3 the 
Father; Thou art my fervant^ O Ifrael : — My fervant ; yes, 
for it was his Father's bufmefs he was employed in, and 
to him he behoved to work. 

5. We fee the Father's choice in him ; Ifa. xlii. 1. Mine 
eled : the word iignifies, one chofen after ferious confide- 
ration and trial. Ood found none fo fit among angels or 
men, none that could fully anfwer his defign, to glorify 
himfelf in the falvation of finners : but upon a full exa* 
mination of the whole affair, he found him exadly fit for 
it ; and therefore brings him in with a behold^ (a note of 
admiration) as one he could reft in, and truft his concerns 
with ; He puts no truft in his faints ; and his angels he char- 
ges with folly : but he knew Jefus would be faithful; and 
therefore made choice of him. 

6. We fee the Father's delight in feeing the Lord ; This 
is my beloved San^ in whom I am well-pleafed. Our Lord 
is the Son of his love, the darling of his foul ; and hence 
he is faid to be in the bofom of the Father^ which is the mofl 
endearing pofture. Thus it is faid of John the evangelift^ 
I^ow there was leaning on Jefus bofom^ one of his difciples 
whom he loved: but our Lord did not lean ^ but lay in the 
bofom of the Father, and that from eternity ; / was daily 
his delight. It muft be owned, that the Lord takes great 
delight in the faint^, rejoices over them with joy and fing-' 
ing^ and refls in his love ; but there is a great difparity be« 
twixt his delight in the faints, and in the King of faints : 
for his delight in the faints is grounded on his delight in 
Chrift; whereas he delights in Chrift primarily, and for 
his own fake : He hath made us accepted in the Beloved. 

7. In feeing the Lord, we fee the Father's gift ; 2 Cor* 
ix. 15. Thanks be to God for his unfpeak able gift. Many 3.. 
noble gift has God beftowed on the fons of men ; yea. 
Every good and per fed: gift cometh down from the Father of 
lights i but if we fpeak comparatively, they are all nothing 

H h 

z^z A Sight (j/' Christ, 

to tills : this IS God's gift by way of emincncy, as if God 
had never given another ; and if this gift were laid in the 
balance with all the angels in heaven, all the men on earth, 
all grace and glory, they would be found lighter than va- 
nity. Other gifts are but God's creatures, but this is 
God's Son, or himfclf ; for this is the true God. And, O 
Uvhat a gift is God I God is the giver, and God is the 

8» We fee the great repofitory of all divine truths, in 
feeing the Lord : and hence he <:alls himfelf the Truth, 
He is not only fo efl'entially, as he is one with the Father, 
the God of truth ; nor only fo vfficially^ as by him alone 
divine truth is fully and effectually declared ; No man hath 
feen God at any tinie^ the only begotten Son^ which is in the 
hojom of the Father^ he hath declared him : but he is the 
truth fuhjlantially ; for all divine truth, relating to the 
knowledge of God, is treafured up in him : hence we are 
faid to learn the truth as it is in Jefus, Inhere are two 
things wherein the glory of truth doth conflfl:, in its light, 
and in its power ; and both'thefe do all fupernatural truths 
derive from their relation to Chrift. No truth whatever 
brings any fpi ritual light to the mind, but by virtue of 
its relation to Chrift ; In hiv.i is life, a?id the life is the light 
of men. There eilicacy is alfo from their relation to the 
perfon of Chrift ; whence is it that they are able to build 
us up, and <?ive us an inheritance among' them that a: e fane- 
tifcdf Juft becaufe they are channels for conveying his 
grace into the fouls of men, whereby they are made wife 
unto falvation. 

9. In feeing the Lord, we fee the covenant ^ of grace ; for 
he is the covenant itfelf ; Ifa. xlli. 6. I will gii'e thee for a 
covenant of the peoj)le. Chrift is all the covenant; it is all 
comprehended in him : he is the covenant originally and * 
fundamentally ; being the original and root from which it 
fprang, and the foundation upon which it ft^nds: Ifa. 
xxviii. 1 6. Behold^ I ^^^y ^^ Z ion for a foundation ^ a flone^ 

the Chrijliaris Joy. 24 

a tried flonc^ a precious corner-flone ; a fure foundation. He 
is the covenant eminently ; bccaufe he is the chief blelling of 
the covenant, tiiere being not fuch another promife, and 
gift in all the bundle of promifes, contained in the covenant, 
as Chrill : he is the falreft and brightefl: ftar in all the con- 
ilellation ; Rev. xxii. 16. / am the hri'^ht and mornimT-dar, 
He is the faiiefl: flone in all tlie building; Pfal. cxviii. 22. 
^he ftone which the builders refufed^ is become the head-Jlone 
of the corner. He is the faireif tree in all the garden of 
God; Song ii. 5. As the apple tree among the trees of the 
*ivood^ fo is my beloved among the fons, — In him we fee the 
covenant coniprehenjively ; he is the very compound or a- 
hridgment of it : he is all the parties of covenant. The 
Father, tike party contracting, is in liim ; / am in the Fa- 
ther^ and the Father in me. Sinners, the party contract- 
ed for, are in him ; For both he that fandifieth^ and they 
that are fan^ified are aUof one^ Heb. ii. 11.; and he him- 
felf is the other party contractor. — He is the fum of the 
condition of the covenant; T^his is the name whereby he fJjall 
be called^ the Lord our righteousness. — He is the fum 
of its promifes, for they are all yea, and amen in him. 

In a word, in him we ict all things ; Col. iii. 1 1. Chrijl 
is ally and in all, — He is all eminently ; becaufe he is the 
marrow and fatnefs of all. — He is all comprehenfively ; be- 
caufe in him ail things necefTary foi\ life and godlinels are 
treafured up: Col. ii. 9. In him dwelleth all the fuhiefs of 
the godhead bodily. — He is all things ultimately ; bccaufe he 
is that blelling for which all other bleffings are fought af- 
ter : Matth. xiii. 44, ^5. Again, the kingdom of heaven is 
like unto a treafure hid in a fields the which when a man hath 
found he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and felleth all that 
he hath to buy that field, — He is all virtually ; becaufe when 
God giveth Chrift, the whole bleffiiigs of the new cove- 
nant are reckoned to be performed: Luke i. 74. To per- 
form the mercy y and to remember his holy covenant, — And he 
is all confequentially ; becaufe all other bleffings follow him : 

Hh 2 

244 -^ ^k^^ o/' Christ, 

Rom. viii. ^2. He that /pared rot his own Son^ bid delivered 
him up for us all^ hoiv /hail be not with hm a/o /reely give 
tis all things f 

II. We proceed now to the fecond Head in our method, 
which was to fpeak of the behever's frame ^ the fruit of 
his privilege ; l^hen were the d/clplcs glad when they /aw 
the Lord, And you may take our views of this in the 
following propofitions. 

Prop, I. " This gladnefs or joy has feveral Ingredients 
*^ in it :" fuch as, 

I. It includes high thoughts of the Lord; for perfons 
%vill not greatly rejoice in what they little efteem : Whorn 
have I In heaven but thee? and there Is none upon earth that 
I de/ire be/ides thee^ fays the Pfalmift, when rejoicing in 
God. " I have none in heaven, neither faint nor angel ; 
I have neither Abraham, Ifaac, nor Jacob to rejoice in: 
and upon earth I have none ; neither wife nor child, 
neither friend nor fervant, that I look to or rejoice in, 
^^ compared ^^ith God." As God has none upon the 
£arth he efteems but the difciples ; as for the reft of the 
world, he can fcarce give them a look, 2 Kings iii. 14. 
Surely were It not that I regard the pre/ence 0/ Jehofaphat 
the king 0/ Judah^ I would not look toward thee^ nor /ee thee : 
fo neither have the difcipl*?s any in heaven or earth, whom 
they regai\i, but the Lord. What are faints, what are 
angels to their fouls, without God r What are all the riches 
and delights of heaven, Vv'ithouc the God of heaven ? If 
God fhouid fay to the difciples, " There is heaven, take 
*' it and divide it amons: vourf elves ; but I will withdraw 
'' myfelf:" how would they weep even in heaven itfelf, 
^nd make it a Bochim, a valley of tears? When David 
told Mephibofhcth, / have /aid ^ thou and Zeua divide the 
fand: let him take all^ 1/ he wlll^ faid Mephibofheth ; /or-^ 
as much as 7vy Lord the king Is lome again In peace: fo, if 
God ihould fty tQ the faipts, take heaven among you. 


the Chrijlians Joy. d^^ 

and withdraw himfelf ; they would even fay, Nay, let the 
world take heaven, if they will, if we may not have thee 
in heaven : heaven would be an earth, or rather a hell to 
us, without thee. 

2 . It includes the foul's complacency in him : for we 
cannot rejoice in any thing we are not well-pleafed with. 
As the Lord is well pleafed with his people, when he calls 
them his Hephzibah, The Lord thy God delighteth in thee; 
fo likewife are they with him. — They are well-pleafed with 
his perfon, beholding in him a complete covering for 
their eyes, and a fatisfying portion for their fouls: 
— they are well-pleafed with his offices, prophetical, 
prieftly, and kingly; beholding in them, a relief againft 
all the evils they lie under. — In a word, they are well- 
pleafed with the whole method of grace through him ; 
2 S^m. xxiii. 5. T^h'is is all my falvation^ and all my dejire. 
God has fent down a draught of the method of favang iin- 
ners through Chriil, to a loft world, with this ftate of the 
vote. Approve, or not. The gracelefs world, to a man, 
vote. Reject ; We preach Chrijl crucified^ to the Jews a 
Jlumbling-block^ and to the Greeks fooUJhnefs : but the difciples, 
to a man, vote. Approve; But to them that are faved^ 
Chrift the wifdom of God and the power of God, They fee 
it to be fuch as becomes God, and all his excellencies, to 
find out and propofe to them; Heb. ii. 10. For it became 
him, in bringing ?nany fons unto glory, to make the captain of 
our falvation perfed through fufferings : they fee it, and ap- 
prove of it as a way full of fecurity to their poor fouls ; 
and therefore they cry out, Grace, grace, to it. 

5. It includes in it, the foul's re/ling in the Lord: for 

\^ where there is no reft, there can be no true joy. " Our 

^' firft father Adam, as an excellent perfon obferves, did 

us two ill turns ; he led us oft" the path of life, not 

knowing how to get on it again ; and fo left us with a 

confcience full of guilt : he led us away from the living 

^- God, not knowing how to get to him again; and fo 

246 J Sight of Christ, 

" left us with a heart full of unfatisfied defires : and hence 
^' the fons of Adam always find themfelves like the horfe- 
leech, Having two daughters , crying^ Give, give. A refl- 
lefs confcience, and a refllefs heart, to each of which 
they mufl needs fay, Shall I feek reft for thee, that it 
may be well with me ?" And fo the foul fets to work, 
labouring for reft; firft to the confcience^ in the barren 
regions of the law; Rom. x. 3. They being ignorant of God's 
right eoufnefs^ and going about to ejlahlijh their own righteouf- 
nefs: and then, for reft to the hearty in the creatures of 
God; and hence they are faid, To labour in tlje very fire y 
and weary themfelves for very vanity : but after all, the con- 
fcience is ftill laden with guilt, and the heart opprefled 
with unfatisfied defires. In this cafe, our Lord comes, 
and by his Spirit gives them a difcovery of his blood, as 
the only remedy for purging the confcience, and here 
they reft; Heb. xii. 24. Te are come to the blood of ff rink* 
lingy that fpeaketh better things than that of Abel. At the 
fame time he difcovers himfelf as a fountain of fatisfaclion, 
and makes the perfon hear a voice, faying. Open thy mouth 
wide^ and I will fill it ; which, at hearing, he obeys, and 
fo finds an everlafting reft to his heart in Chrift, in whom 
they have all, and abound. 

4. This joy includes in it enlargement of foul. A per- 
fon under the fetters and bonds of ignorance, atheifm, 
and unbelief, has no actual joy ; but as foon as thefe are 
knocked off, he is made to leap like an hart, and ftng in 
the ways of God. Grief and forrow ftraiten the heart ; but 
joy and comfort enlarge it: and hence the Pfalmift fays, 
Thau hafl enlarged me when I was in diflrefs. In forrow, the 
fpirits are collected to fupport the heart ; but in joy, they 
are fcattered and dilated abroad: and this is an affeclion 
which sfives ftrensfth and life to all our actions. And as 
this is true of natural joy and forrow, fo of fpi- 
ritual joy and forrow, which are the greateft of the kind. 
No forrow like that forrow \ and therefore nothing ftrait- 

the Chrijiiatis Joy. 1/^1 

ens the heart fo much: My foul is troubled^ that I cannot 
/peak, fays a faint: and as there is no joy Hke that joy, 
therefore nothing more cnlargeth the heart. The foul, 
which before could hardly creep, but languiihed under a 
burden of forrows, when cheared and revived under 
Uie light of God's countenance, can run with vigour 
and activity in God*s fervice; Pfal. xxx. ii. Thou bafl 
turned my mourning into dancing; thou hajl put off my Jack- 
cloth and girded me with gladnefs. This is an allufion to the 
practice of thefe eaftern countries, when they were in a 
hade they girded and tucked up their garments ; fo it is 
here, when the foul is filled with gladnefs by comfortable 
difcoveries of the Lord, we are carried out to God's fer- 
vice with greater ftrength and livelinefs. / will run the way 
ef thy commandments when thou hafl enlarged my heart, 

5, This joy includes like wife an elevation of foul after 
tlx^ Lord; Pfal. xxv. i. Unto thee^ Lord^ do I lift up 
my foul. The believer's feet ftand where other men's 
heads are ; for he is clothed with the fun^ and treads on 
the moon of this world : he looks down on the men of this 
world, as one from an high hill upon thefe that live in 
fome fen below, and fees them buried in the fog of carnal 
pleafures and profits, while he breaths in a pure and hea- 
venly air : though it muft be acknowledged he is not fo 
high as to be free from ail ftorms and tempefts, as is plain 
from the many fad complaints uttered by the beft of men, 
that their hearts are fo dead and dull, their thoughts fo 
roving and unfixed in duty, and many times fo wicked 
and filthy, that they dare hardly tell what they are, for 
fear of ftaining their own lips, or offending the ears of 
others. The difciples are born from above, and feek to 
get thither, as all things tend to the place of their original: 
thus fifhes defire to be in the water, and fowls in the air. 
Accordingly, in the exercife of this joy, they, by holy me- 
ditation, mount up as on eagles wings to heaven, and re- 
turn home again richly laden with the produce of the land 

24S A Sight of Chkjst, 

that is afar off, before the world knows where they have 
been. Thus they {bar aloft, while the bafe worldlings, 
and all the feed of the old ferpent, are licking the duft 

6. It includes in it holy boa/lmg in the Lord : Myfouljhalt 
make her hoaft in the Lord ; the humble Jh all hear thereof and 
he glad. To glory in ourfelves is contrary to grace ; Rom. 
iii. 27. Where is boa/ling then? it is excluded: but to glory 
in our Lord, as fuch, is the higheft exercife of grace, and 
at the fame time the height of joy; Phil. iii. 3. For we 
are the circumcifion which worjhip God in the fpirity and re- 
joice in Chrift Jefus. I'he word figniiies glorying or boaft- 
ing with a ftr etching out of the neck^ and cafting up the head. 
" The falfe teachers, would the apoftle fay, glory in their 
" carnal rites, ceremonial obfervances, and outward privi- 
" leges ; but we rejoice in Chrift alone, yea, glory, exult, 
" and triumph in him." Joy in its ilrength is exultation, 
which is the fouPs leaping towards its object; fo the fouls 
of the difciples leap for joy, when they contemplate the 
infinite fulnefs, all-fufiiciency, glorious and tranfcendent 
excellency of Chrift Jefus ; and they glory in him, in regard 
they are not afhamed of him, as if he were unworthy to be 
owned ; but they boldly avow him with the mouth, as 
well as believe in him with the heart. In God we boaft 
all the day loiig^ Pfal. xliv. 8. 

Frof, 2. " This joy has feveral t^ct\\Q,nt properties in it." 
I. It is TifoUd and real joy. Let fceptics fay what they 
will, it has nothing of fancy or imagination in it ; it is no 
whim or delufion : as there is a reality in feeing the Lord, 
fo there is a reality in the joy which proceeds therefrom ? 
As faith itfelf, fo the joy it produces, has a folid founda- 
tion to ftand upon. The purpofe, promife, covenant, 
and oath of God, and the whole mediation of our Lord 
Jefus, according to that of the apoftle, Fl/oo fJoall lay any 
thing to the charge of God's eledf it is God that jujlifeth. 
Their forrow is but feeming j but their joy is real^ 2 Cor. 

the Chrijlians Joy. 249 

VI. 10. As forrowfui, yet always rejoicing. They often, 
to appearance, in a fad condition ; but this is only to outward 
fight : fmners are, as it were, glad and merry; but indeed 
they are dejecled and forrowful: faints are, as it were^ 
forrowful, but indeed they are comforted. 

2. It is a peculiar joy, the privilege of the difciples 
of Chrifl only: Thefe things have I written to you^ that your 
joy may he full ^ i John i. 4. Thefe things f peak I in the worlds 
that they might have r,iy joy fulfilled in themfelves^ John xvii. 
1 3. : in themfehes ; ■ in whom ? in the men that were given 
hinu The joys of others are but flolen waters^ and bread 
eaten in fecret ; frifks of mirth, when confcience is afieep. 
A man cannot rejoice in God, till he has fome intereft in 
him; i Sam. xxx. 6. David encouraged himfelf in the Lord 
his God; mark the phrafe, his God, when all was loft at 
Ziklag, when all his family were led captives, and he 
feemcd to have nothing he could call his own. God in 
his nature is terrible, but God in his covenant is fweet; 
Hab. iii. 18. T^et will I rejoice in the Lord ; I will joy in the 
God of my falvation. The objecf of joy is good^ but not 
good in common ; L'he God of ^n falvation : therefore fpiritual 
joy is not the privilege of every one, but only thofe who 
have an intereft in our Lord Jefus : ftrangers intermiddle 
not with this joy ; they have no part nor lot in it. With 
reference to this joy, we may underftand the words of 
the Lord, Ifa. Ixv. 13, 14. Behold my fervants fhall eat, 
but ye fJp all be hungry; bthold ?7iy fervants fiall drink^ hut ye 
Jhall be thirfly ; behold my ferv ants fh all rejoice^ hut ye fh all 
be aflmmed ; behold ?nyfervants f!?all fing for joy of hearty hut 
ye ft? all cry for for row cf hearty and fhall howl for vexatio7t 
of fpirit. At leaft it fhall be fo in the end, when thofe, 
who are deftitute of faith in our Lord Jefus, fliall end 
their days in forrow and mourning. 

3. It is a cordial or hearty joy, Pfal. iv. 7. 'Thou haft 
put gladnefs in my heart, more than in the time that their corn 
and their tvine increafed; and that is delight indeed w^hich 

I i 

250 A Sight of Christ, 

puts gladnefs into the heart, which does not pleafe the 
bodily fenfes, but afFe6ls the foul, and comforts the con- 
fcience. Carnal joy makes a loud noife, and is therefore 
compared to the crackling of thorns under a pot ; but fpiri- 
tual joy goes to the heart, and fills it with ferenity and 
peace: carnal joy is like the morning dew, which wets 
the furface only ; but fpiritual joy, is like a foaking 
fliower, which goes to the root, and makes the fruits of 
the earth to liourifh. John xvi. 22. 7^our heart fh all re- 
joice, ajid your joy no man taketh from you. They that in- 
dulge falfe comfort, rather laugh than are chearful ; but 
they that are exercifed in contemplating our Lord, and 
who fetch their comfort from him, are glad at the veiy 

4. It is a pure joy. It is not like the muddy joys of 
this earth, which are always mixt : afpecially finful joys, 
which have commonly a fting with their honey. This 
joy, which proceeds from a fight of the Lord, is pure and 
fm'cere joy. They who have the experience of it, may be 
faid to drink of the pure river of 'water of life^ clear as cryf 
taly which proceedeth cut of the throne of God and of the La?nb, 
It mud be owned, that the more intelleclual any joy is, 
it is fo much the more excellent : though beafts may have 
pain and pleafure poured in upon them by the fenfes ; 
yet propel ly they have no delight or forrow. Thus the 
joy of carnal men is pleafure rather than delight ; it is not 
fed by difcoveries of the Lord, but by fuch dreggy out- 
ward contentments as the world affords; and fo of the 
fame nature with the contentment of the beafts : but the 
more intellectual and chafte our delights are, the more 
fui table to human nature. None in the world then have 
a delight fo feparate from the lees, as a believer that re- 
joices in Chrift Jefus : he that delights in natural know- 
ledge, hath without doubt a purer object, and greater 
contentment of foul, than the fenfualifl who delights on- 
ly in meats and drinks, iu fports and pleafures, common 

the Chrijlians Joy. 251 

to him with the beafts. Farther, he that delights in the 
bare contemplation of Chrift, revealed in the word, as 
fuited to man's neceflities, as the ftony-ground hearers 
did, has certainly yet a purer gladnefs than the naturalift : 
but, O how vaftly more pure is that delight, which flows 
from a faving fight of the Lord ! 

5 . It is an invigorating joy. All joy ftrengthens the 
foul, and invigorates its motion towards the thing where- 
in it delighteth, becaufe joy clears the mind of all thofe 
indifpofitions for a6lion, which clog it ; and for this rea- 
fon, no doubt, it is that mufic is ufed in war, viz. to 
refrefli and animate nature : much more muft fpiritual joy 
be the ftrength of the foul; Neh. viii. 10. The joy of the 
Lord is your Jlrength, A believer never acls fo ftrongly, 
and fo regularly, as when he is filled with the love of God. 
This is as oil to the chariot wheels of the foul, caufing 
them run fwiftly in the ways of God's commandments. 
It is the obfervation of the wife man, Prov. xiv. i 3. Even 
in laughter the heart is forroivful^ and the end of that mirth 
is heavinefs : but it is not fo with the joy that flows from 
a fight of the Lord ; the more a man has of it, the more 
is his heart refrefhed, his fpirits revived, and invigorated. 
In this it partakes of the nature of the joys of heaven, 
which, as they ravifh, fo they ftrengthen the foul to be 
more and more ravifhed by them. 

6. It is fe If -exi/Ient joy : my meaning is, that it is a joy 
which can fubfift under the want of all other objects but 
the Lord : he is a cordial rich enough of himfelf, and 
needs no other ingredients. It is reported, that at a 
meeting of philofophers, when a mufician came in, one 
of the company faid, philofophers can be merry without 
niufic : jufi: fo, they who have this joy can be chearful in 
the want of all creature comforts, Hab. iii. 17. Althouo^h 
the fig-tree fhall not hloffom^ — yet I will rejoice in the Lord. 
Take away the creature from carnal men, and their joy is 
gone, becaufe it depends on outward things •, but fpiri- 

li 2 


252 A Sight o/' Christ, 

tual joy IS higher built than the creatures: it is built on 
the love of God, on the blood of the Son of God, and on . 
•the promife of God ; and therefore can fubiifl under the 
lofs of all things below. Thcuigh all things in the world 
forfake the difciples, while their God does not forfake 
them, they will continue to rejoice ; John xvi. 22. But I 
*will fee you again^ and your heart Jhall rejoice^ and your joy 
no man taketh from you* 

7. It IS a ff^ong joy ^ Keb. vi. 18. Strong confolation* It 
is ftrong, powerful, and prevalent againlf all oppofition. 
Comforts derived from earthlv thin^-s, are weak and Ian- 
guid, they die and fade upon the firli: appearance of a vi- 
gorous oppoiition; but this confolation is ftrong, and pre^ 
valent againft all creature oppoiition whatever: not in it- 
felf indeed, but in its caufes. The confolations of the 
world feem to be ftrong, till they come to be tried, and 
then their weaknefs appears; but this is a ftrong tower, 
an impregnable fortrefs, a munition of rocks. A foun- 
dation on the fand vv-ill foon fail, when rain falls, and the 
floods arife, and the winds blow and beat on the houfe; 
but that which is on the rock will ftand firm in all ftorms ; 
and fo does this joy. 

8. It is a concealed ]OY* Chrifl is our life ; and our life 
of comfort is hid ivith Chrifl in God, The room wherein 
our Lord entertains his difciples is an inner room, not/ 
next the ftreet, that every one that pafles by may fmell 
the favour of the banquet. Our Lord and the foul ma)^ 
be at a fcaft of fat things within, and paiTengers neither 
fee the intertainment, nor hear the mufic. The world 
thinks the Chriftian wants joy, becaufe the iigns of joy 
are not always hung out on his countenance; but they 
are much miftaken : for what hinders the faint from hav- 
ing a joyful heart, with a fad countenance, more than 
the wicked to have fad and forrowful hearts, when there 
is nothing but fair weather in their countenances? Prov, 
3^iY%.J[jt £w^ in laughter thQ h$art is forrowful -^ and the 


the Chrijllans Joy, 253 

end of that mirth is heav'inefs. The truth of the matter is, 
the behever's joy is fo far out of wicked mens fight to 
difcern it, as it is out of their power to remove it, and 
that is far enough; for their joy none can take from them, 

9. It is a durable ]oY, It lafts as long as faith, as long 
as life, and even when both thefe are at an end, it enters 
with the believer into the joy of his Lord^ and mingles itfelf 
with the overflowing joys of immediate vifion and frui- 
tion, which are the portion of glorified faints; for even 
then the zvork offaith^ and labour of love will be remem- 
bered, to add to the believer's everlafting joy. It is true, 
he may want the exercife of this joy, and be made to go 
mourning without the fun; but even then he has it radi- 
cally and habitually, Pfal. xcvii. i i. Light is foivn for the 
righteous^ and gladnefs for the upright in heart : and he fliall 
have it a6lually fome time or other, Pfal. cxxvi. 6. He that 
goeth forth and weepeth^ beari?7g precious feed^ flmll doubtlefs 
come again with rejoicings bringing his floeaves with him. 
Look not therefore how the faint begins, but how he 
ends ; Mark the perfed man^ and behold the upright ^ for the 
end of that man is peace ^ Pfal. xxxvii. 37. 

Prop, 3. " This joy exerts and vents itfelf feveral 

I . It exerts itfelf in acls of praife and thankfulnefs to 
God. "When the believing foul is full of this joy, it nc- 
ceiTarily vents itfelf in chearful praifes, faying with the 
church, Ifa. Ixiii. 7. I will mention the loving kindnejfes of 
the Lords and the praifes of the Lord^ according to all that the 
Lord hath b eft owed on us^ and the great goodnefs towards the 
houfe of Ifraels which he hath beftowed on them^ according to 
his mercies s and according to the multitude of his loving kind- 
neffes. A gracious foul in this life, is like thefe flowers 
which fliut when the fun fets, and open again when the 
fun returns and fliines upon them. If God withdraws his 
favour, and fends a dark night of defertion, they fliut up 
themfelves and their thoughts in filencej but if he fhines 

254 A Sight of Christ^ 

again, and (heds abroad the light and fenfe of his love on 
them, then their hearts and mouths are wide open, in 
finging praifes to him. Hannah prayed filently, fo long 
as flie was /;/ hifternefs of fp'irit ; but as foon as God filled 
her heart with joy and peace in believing^ prefently her 
mouth is opened into a fong of thankfgiving: i Sam. ii. 
I. And Hannah prayed^ and faid^ My heart rejoiceth in the 
Lord ; mine horn is exalted in the Lord: my mouth is enlarged 
over mine enemies ^ becaufe I rejoice in thy fahation, 

2. This joy vents itfelf in Icve to the Lord: for the joy 
of believing or feeing the Lord, is a joy which warms the 
heart; and when a perfon is under the influence of it, he 
cannot but love the Author of it. This is a native con- 
fequence of that gratitude, which grace plants in the be- 
lieving foul, and which moft abounds, when under the 
influence of the joy of believing: neither is it love to him, 
only on account of his benefits, but on account of his all- 
tranfcending excellencies. It is not fet fo much upon 
what he hath^ as upon what he is. His gifts are loved 
for him, and not he for them; he is fweet without any 
thing, though nothing is fweet without him. Should 
our Lord give all to one that loves him, and withhold 
himfelf, he would fay with Abfalom, What doth all this 
avail 7ne^ while I fee not the king^s facef 

3. This joy vents itfelf in godly for row for ftn> Some 
perfons imagine that holy joy, and godly forrow, are in- 
confiftent; but they are much miftaken: for it is not grace 
and grace, that are contrary ; but grace and fin. As the 
paflbver was a feaft, yet eaten with bitter herbs; fo Chrift 
our paiTover may be feafted upon, with a bitter fenfe of 
our own fins: nay, they do not only confift, but they 
mutually influence oRe another. Thefe who moft mourn 
for fin, do moft rejoice in the Lord ; and thefe who re- 
joice in the Lord, do moft mourn for fin. As Mary wept 
much ^ htc^rait fJje loved much; and loved much ^ becaufe much 
was forgiven her: godly forrow is a fervant to faith, love, 

the Chrijiians Joy. 255 

and joj in the Holy Ghoft; and joy and thankfulnefs for 
the mercy of God in Chrift, are helps to goldly forrow. 
None are io difpleafed with themfelves, for offending the 
Lord, as thefe who have tailed that the Lord is gracious, 
Zech. xii. 10. 

4. It vents itfelf in felf -dedication to the Lord, PfaL 
cxvi. 17. Lord^ truly I a?n thy fervant^ I am thy fervanty 
and the foil of thine Jmndmaid ; thou haft loofed my bonds. 
When a gracious foul is at any time under the influence 
of this joy, it yields itfelf to the Lord, not merely as the 
conquered yields to the conqueror, becaufe he can {land 
it out no longer; but as the wife yields herfelf to her 
hufband, to whom her defire is; as the fcholar yields 
himfelf to the teacher, and the apprentice to his mailer 
to be taught and ruled by him : he reckons it not enough 
to be called by our Lord'' s name^ to take away his reproach', but 
furrcnders himfelf to fche Lord, and his fubflance to the 
God of the whole earth ; faying, " It is corban, a gift 
" to God ; all I am, all I have, or can do, is a dedicated 
*' thing, which is facrilege to alienate :" yea, if he had 
ten thoufand fouls, and ten thoufand bodies ; ten thou- 
fand lives and eflates, he would furrender them all to the 
Lord. I own, this piece of religion is much miilaken, 
and mifmanaged in the world: the bulk of men make it 
a peace-ofiering, whereas it is only a thank-offering. They 
give themfelves to the Lord that he may be their God; 
whereas they fliould do it, becaufe he is their God : for 
this is the order of the covenant of srrace, / 1:'/// be their 
God ; and they fh all be my people : whereas their practice is 
the order of the covenant of w^orks; and fo evidences 
them to be alive to the law^ in this refpecl. 

5. It vents itfelf in acls of chearful obedience to the will 

of God. Pfal. cxvi. 7, 8, 9. Return unto thy reft, my 

foul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee; this is 

David's joy: and what is the effect of it? ver. 9. I will 

walk before the Lord in the lan4^ of the living. The more we 

2s6 ' A Sight of Christ, 

triumph in his victory, the more we ihall abound in hi3 
work; i Cor. xv. 57, 58. But thanks be to God which 
giveth us the vidory^ through our Lord Jefus Chrijl : ver. 
58. Therefore my beloved brethren^ be ye fledfaft^ unmoveable^ 
always abounding in the work of the Lord, forafmuch as ye 
know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord, The foul, 
under the influence of this joy, is not whipt to obedience, 
but performs it with heart and goo(^wi]l, which is what 
God requires; Pfalm c. 2. Serve the Lord with gladnefs. 
Hypocrites obey God grudgingly, and againft their will, 
as Cain brought his facrifice, and not his heart : but the 
faint does it with willingnefs, and chearfulnefs; which 
fliews that there is love in the duty: and love doth that 
to our fervices which the fun doth to the fruit, it mellows 
and ripens them, and makes them eat with a better 

6. This joy vents itfelf in acts of love to thofe who are 
of the houjhold of faith: Thufites faid of the Jews, in 
Efther's days, that after their deliverance from Haman's 
confpiracy. They had days of fea fling and joy, and of fend- 
ing -portions to one another, and gifts to the poor. This joy 
vents itfelf in doing good, both to their fouls and bodies: 
to their fouls, by comforting them in their troubles of 
mind, directing them in their doubts, and reprehending 
them for their faults: to their bodies^ by viliting, and 
fympathizing with them in their diftrefs, fupplying them 
in their wants. And, O what fo beautiful, as for mem- 
bers of the fame body, children of the fame father, thefe 
who lay in the fame womb, fucked the fame beafts, who 
fat at the fame table, and expect for ever to lodge in the 
fame home, to be thus helpful to one another! 

7. It vents itfelf in a fledfafl adherence to the Lord's 
truths, caufe, and intereft: and hence that expreffion, 
Acts iv. 13. When they f aw the boldnefs of 'Peter and John, 
they took knowledge of them that they had been with Jefus, 
When the faints lofe heart-gladdening fights of the Lord, 

the Chrijlians Joy, 257 

then they are Y[k& ftlly doves ^ without heart In his caufc ; 
but when he hfts upon them the hght of his countenance, 
this animates and ftirs them up to acl bodly : a notable 
inllance of this we have in Peter; when our Lord was 
fuiiering, ill company prefTed very hard on him, and the 
fear of being abufcd by them, prevailed with him to deny 
his Mafter; but it is no fooner done than our Lord looks 
on him, and after this no torment, no contempt, no 
frowns of great men, no imprifonments, not the ilern 
looks of the high prieft, nor the indignation of the Sad- 
ducees, can move him ; he opens his mouth in his Matter's 
caufe, and afterwards draws his pen in defence of the 
gofpel. — The little zeal amongft us for his truth at this 
day, plainly iliys, that we want heart-gladdening fights of 
the Lord: many having no zeal for the moft important 
truths of our holy religion; and others thinking we are 
only to contend for thofe they call fundamentals, to the 
neglect of others which they call fmaller truths, if it be 
proper to call any truth fmall; which is juft as if a man 
in building, fliould only be careful to lay a good founda- 
tion, without minding the roof, windows, or walls. 

8. It vents itfelf in acts of pity and compaffion towards 
unbelievers, who as vet have had no tafte or fenfe of this 
joy. This joy has its own rife from the bounty of God, 
and it difpofes the believer to pity thofe who are flrangers 
to it, and to wiih and pray for a change to them, that they 
Y\\\^ he brought from darknefs to lights and from the power of 
Satan^ to the liberty of God^s childre?i. No fooner had 
Andrevv^ the apoille and brother of Simon feen Chrift, and 
had joy by his fight let in to his heart, than meeting Si- 
mon he fays, IVe have found the l^leffias ; and brought him 
to Jefus^ John i. 4c, 41. 

in. The third general head, was to enquire, whence it 
is that a fight of the Lord thus gladdens the difciples ? 

K k 

258 J Sight of CUKlSTf 

And reafons for this may be given, from the obje^l of the 
fight; from the fubjecl of it; and from the fight itfelf. 
i/?, From the ohjed of the fight. And, 

1. It proceeds from the iiearnefs of the objecl. Good 
abfent, you know, is the objecl of defire ; but good pre- 
fent, is the object of delight. It muft be owned, that a 
perfon may rejoice at fome good that is paft, as that at 
fuch a time he efcaped fuch a danger, or made fuch a 
good bargain ; but then the memory makes it prefent. A 
perfon may Ukewife rejoice in a future good, as Abraham 
rejoiced to fee Chnjl's day afar of; but then faith gives 
the thing a prefenc exiftence in the foul ; for faith is the 

fuhjlajice of things hoped for: fo that ftill the object of joy 
is prefent good. Well, our Lord Jefus is a good always 
prefent with his people. Mat. xxviii. 20. Lo! I am with 
you alway.^ even unto the end of the world. It is true, they 
have not his bodily prefence, which the church once en- 
joyed, when he went out and in among his difciples ; nor is 
this neceifary, redemption \vork being iinillied : but they 
ftill have his ipiritual prefence, Mat. xviii. 20. Where two 
or three are gathered together in my 7iame^ there am I in the 
viidft of them. By his Spirit, he is more nearly prefent 
v/ith them, than any other good thing they have. Some 
things are pxfent with them, in their poffefTion, yet ftill 
without them; but our Lord Jefus is in them: I will dwell 
in them. Some things are more intimate than thefe, yet 
ftill feparab]e from them, as health, ftrength ; but our 
Lord Jefus Cliiift infeparabiy abides with them : there is 
an everlafting tye betwixt Chrift and the difciples; Rom. 
viii. 365 38. ]¥Jjo fJ'jall fcparate us from the love of Chrifl f 
Is it any wonder then that the difciples are glad when 
they fee the Lord? 

2. This gladnefs proceeds from the agreeahlenefs of the 
objecV. A perfon cannot rejoice in any thing unlefs he 
fee in it a fuitablenefs to himfelf. Gold is unfuitable to 
one that is hungry \ food, to the fick \ honour, to the 

the Chrijlians Joy. 259 

weary and fatigued ; and therefore perfons in fucli cir- 
cumftances cannot rejoice in thefe things: but our Lord 
Jefus is a fuitable good to the difciplcs ; and therefore 
they cannot but rejoice when they fee him. There ir> a 
twofold agreeablenefs in Chiifl to the difciples : an agree- 
ablenefs to their condition, for affording reUef ; to their 
judgment, for yielding fatisfadion. 

[1.] There is an agreeablenefs in Chrifl; to the condi- 
iion of the difciples for affording relief, which, when feen, 
rejoices the heart; i Cor. i. 30. But of bun are ye in Chrijl 
Jefus^ who of God is made unto us wifdom^ and righteouf- 
nefs^ and fa nd,ifi cation^ and redemption. All our fouls feel a 
want, and defire fupply proper for filling it up; .but be- 
fore they be enhghtened, they know not where to find it, 
and therefore fly to the creature in ilead of the Creator, 
but to no purpofe; for whatever reft the creature pro- 
mifes, it cannot afford it: Ifa. Iv. 2. Wherefore do ye fpend 
money ^ for that which is not bread ; and your labour^ for 
that which fatisfieth not f And therefore the poor foul 
mourns in ftead of rejoicing. In this cafe, the Lord is 
difcovered, and then it refts as an infant fet to the full 
breafl, becauie he is a fuitable good to the foul: Ifa. Ixvi. 
1 1. 'That ye may fuck ^ and be fat is fed at the breafl s of her 
conflations , Now, there are feveral things in Chrifl an- 
fwerable to the fouPs condition. 

There is an agreeablenefs in his per/on, as he is a Deity, 
dwelling in flefli; and fo at once anfwering the honour of 
God, and the foul's necefTities, in which the foul rejoices, 
with the deepeil aftonifliment, crying out, in the words 
of Solomon, Will God indeed dwell on the earth ! 

There is an agreeablenefs in his offices to the cafe of the 
finner ; for the finner is in a triple incapacity of return^ 
ing to God his ultimate end : he is in the darknefs of fin, 
and knows not the right path thither; for this our Lord 
Jefus is the truth, as a prophet, leaching him by his word 
and Spirit: he is under the guilt of fin, and dares not re- 

K k 2 

26o J Sight (^/'Chri^st, 

turn ; for this Chriil is the way, as a pneft, offering up 
his blood and rio-hteoufnefs for him: he is under the i?n- 
fotency^ and enmity of fin, and fo neither can nor will re* 
turn thither of himfeif ; for this Chrift is the life, as a king, 
fubduing and ruling him, by his gracious fceptre. I'he 
man finding himfelf very much in the dark as to the mind 
and will of God, is fuited by the prophetical office, 
Avhereby he tranflates finncrs out of darknefs ; here is re- 
lief againft this: he is prelfcd down with guiit ; in the 
priefiily office he finds relief agalnil: this ; for the blood of 
J ejus Chrift his Son cleanfes from all fin : he is cnilaved by 
fin ; he finds rcHef asrainfi: this in his kinG:Iv office, where- 
by he i^ able to fubdue all things to himfelf* 

Ihere is an apreeablenefs in his names to the foul's 
fituation. — Are they fach as have violated the law? then 
his name is, The Lord cur ri([hteoufufs, Jer. xxiii. 6. By 
his aclive and paffive obedience, he has brought in an 
everlafi:ing righteoufnefs for their juftification, whereby 
the law is magnified and made honourable ; they, through 
faith in him, have the rio-hteoufnefs of the law fulfilled 
in them ; and therefore when ever the law makes its de- 
mands, they have an anfwer to give it, Chrifl was made 
fin for iis^ that we might be made the righteoufnefs of God in 
him. — Are they difeafcd or wounded by the fiery darts of 
the devil ? Are tl)e plagues of fin affecting their fouls with 
deadnefs, or darknefs, or any other evil? Anfwerable to 
this condition, his name is, The Lord the healer ; Exod. 
XV. 26. I am the Lord that healeth thee, — Are thcv like 
lofi: iheep going aftray from the Lord? Suitable to this | 
cafe is his name, Ezek. xlviii. 55. And the name of the city 
from that day fhall be^ The Lord is there: and therefore 
they iliali be kept by the power of God through faith unto 
falvation, — Are they at any time reduced to firaits or 
wants, either in foul or body? Suitable to this, his name 
is, Jehovah-jireh, The Lord will provide^ Gen. xxii. 14. 

-r-Are thev at aqy time defencelefs? Suitable to this, his 

4 * 

the Chriflian^s Joy, 261 

name is, T/jc Lord ?ny bamier^ Exod. xv. 26. — Are they 
in mifery ? His name is, J^'Hovah, Merciful and gracious, 
\_:l.~\ He is agreeable to their judg?nent, for yielding full 
fatisfa6lion ; and this makes them rejoice, 'ihe objecl of 
this fight is 3.sfuitable to the condition of unbelievers as ever 
a plaifter was to a fore ; / counfel thee to buy of me gold tried 
in the fire ^ that thou mayefl be rich ; and white raiment^ that 
thou mayefl be clothed ; and eye-falve^ that thou mayefl fee^ 
Rev. iii. 18.: But he is not agreeable to their judgment^ 
becaufe they are under the power of corruption; and cor- 
rupt nature is the very reverfe of the device of falvation 
throu2:h a crucified Chrifl; and therefore thev cannot be 
elad in him. Corruot nature feeks fatisfaction in the 
creature, and fo rejoices in it : hence thofe under its in- 

'fluence are faid to be lovers of pleafures ; but Chrifl is mofl 
unfavoury to them. However, he is mofl agreeable to the 
mind, as well as the condition of the difciples : they are 
cafl into the mould of the gofpel, Rom. viii. 17. Jer. xxxii. 
39, 40. They are pleafed with every thing about him: 

s they are fatisfied that he fhould get all the glory of their 
falvation, heartily content that they fhould be bankrupts 
to commend the height, depth, breadth, and length of 
his love, and to be deeply in the debt of free grace, and 
that they fliould have the advantage of an eternity to ac- 
knowledge it; Pfal. Ixxxix. I. I will flag of the mercies of 
the Lord for ever. They are pleafed with his laws, a copy 
of them being infcribed upon their hearts; Pfal. cxix. 
128. Therefore I efleem all thy precepts conceriung all things 
to be right ; and I hate every falfe way. They are well 
pleafed with the fulnefs of the Spirit of holinefs, which 
is lodged in him, and that he is a Spirit of grace and fup- 
plication. It pleafes them, that though they be folly, he 
is made of God to them wifdom; though guilty, he is 
made righteoufnefs ; though they be filthy, he is fanclifi- 
cation ; though they be nothing, Chrifl is all. Whatever 
is wanting in them, is abounding in him ; and it is all 

262 A Sight of Christ, 

one, if it be betwixt them : it is as good, nay, much 
better, in their view, that it be in him than in themfelves. 

3 . This gladnefs proceeds from the wonderfulnefs of the 
object. An incarnate Redeemer is the moft wonderful 
obje6l that ever appeared upon earth. His appearance in 
flefh was intimated by a heavenly meifenger; and the 
view did inflame the feraphims themfelves, Luke ii. 13, 
14. When Chrift is feen in his ordinances by faith, every 
thing in and about him is feen as wonderful. — He is won- 
derful in his per/on;, he is the mofl high God over all^ blejjed 
for ever : he is true man, The Word was made flefh; and he 
is in his perfon God-man. He is wonderful in the beau- 
ty of his perfon, being fairer than the children of men. He 
is wonderful in his birth, life, death, and refurreclion. — 
He is wonderful in his works ; they produce allonifhment 
in every beholder. So when feen in his ordinances, the 
fight makes glad the hearts of the difciples. 

4. The rarenefs of the object is what produce the joy. 
If gold were as plentiful as iron, it would be as little 
efteemed ; but the rarity of it makes men to value and re- 
joice in it. Well, our Lord Jefus, the obje6l of this fight 
is very rare. — God hath made the beft and moft excellent 
things fingle. One fun in the firmament; one tree of life 
in Paradife ; one heart, one head in the body : fo to us 
there is but one Lord Jefus^ by whom are all things^ and 
we by him; and therefore the difciples rejoice when they 
fee him. 

5. It proceeds from the amiablenefs of the object, which 
is not only lovely^ but altogether lovely. Every thing which 
tends to render one amiable to others, is in him in the 
higheil degree. In his complexion, he is white and ruddy ; 
fo the chlefeft among ten thoufand. The difciples fee him 
complete in refpecl of parts, and difcern his comely pro- 
portion, fo he is to them amiable; efpecially when feen 
after a time of defertion: the difciples have gone mourning 
without the fun; but upon his appearance to them anew 

the Chri/iia7is Joy. 2^3 

his amiablcnefs is feen with great advantage ; and the ap- 
prehenfion of an interview fills the mouth of the difci- 
ples with commendations of him: hence the fpoufe, in the 
fifth of the Song, when he had withdrawn himfelf, and 
was gone, commends him until words fail, ver. 10, — 16. 
His amiablenefs is fo great, that the beauty of every creat- 
ed thing doth evanifh, as the fhining of the fi:ars upon the 
rifing of the fun ; and, in comparifon of him, all things 
are ugly, and counted for lofs and dung, that this fair 
One may be win, and that they may be found in him. 

6. It proceeds from the purity of the obi eel. To ren- 
der any thing the object of full joy, it mufl: be a pure 
good, without any drofs or dregs to abate the fweetnefs 
of it. Well, our Lord Jefus is a moft pure good, without 
any mixture of drofs or bitternefs. Every creature is a 
bitter-fweet, and fo poor a comfort that its bitternefs is 
necelTary to the very being of its fweetnefs ; for had it 
not a bitternefs, its fweetnefs would be fulfome: but 
though our Lord be altogether delightful, yet he never 
clogs ; but the more he is enjoyed, the more he pleafeth. 
Never any believer found any thing in him to caufe him 
repent his chufing him ; as Polycarp faid, '' I have ferved 
" him thefe eighty-fix years, and he never did me any 
'' hurt.'' No wonder then though the difciples be glad 
when they fee him. 

7. It proceeds from the frecioiifnefs of the object. To 
render any thing an objecl of full and complete joy, it 
mufi: be a precious good, that which hath fome fpecial value 
about it : we read of the joy of hawefl^ becaufe men then 
reap the precious things of the earth. Our Lord Jefus is 
no ordinary good, which if a man want he can compen- 
fate by fome other thing, but a treafure^ a pearl of great 
price, in comparifon of whom all other things are lofs and 
dung, Phil. iii. 7, 8. He is precious in the eyes of his peo- 
ple; to them that believe he is precious : precious in his own 
tranfcendent excellencies and perfections ; precious in the 

264 A Sight of Christ, 

refpecl he bears to us ; in the fweet and intimate relations 
of an head, hufband, &c,: precious in the rich fupplies of 
grace he beftows, in the high dignity whereto he ad- 
vances, in the precious promiies he makes us, in the glo- 
rious hopes he fets before us, and the bleiled maniions he 
has prepared for us : precious in the light of his counte- 
nance lliining on us, and the fruits of his Spirit in us ; in 
fhort, in every thing about him: and therefore no won- 
der though the difciples be glad at the light of him. 

8. The fulnefs of the objecl caufes this joy. It muft 
be a full good, fuilicient and proportionable to the dehres 
and exigencies of him, who is delighted therewith. Well, 
fuch is the objecl of this iight^ he can fill their capacious 
fouls, like the water-pots of Cana in Galliiee, up to the 
brim: he has enough for himfelf, and therefore muli 
have enough for them. Are they guilty? he has plenty 
of righteoufnefs to cover all their fins : Are they poor ? 
he has riches to fupply all their wants, grace to fubdue 
all their lufts, wafdom to refolve all their doubts, power 
to vanquiih all their enemies, virtue to cure all their difeafes. 
As the one ocean contains more water than all the rivers 
in the world, and one fun more light than all the other 
luminaries in heaven ; fo one Chrift has more to a poor foul 
than ten thoufand worlds. 

9. It proceeds from tYie, perpetuity of the objecl. To 
render any thing a fourcc of rational joy, it muft be a per- 
petual good, commenfurate in duration to the foul fatis- 
fied with it: and fuch is the object of this fight; for 
though he once died, death has now no more power over him. 
He died, but he is now alive; and he lives not only for 
ever in his perfon, but he is for ever the life, portion, 
and blefiednefs of his people : Becaufe he lives ^ they Jhall 
live alfo. He leads not in heaven a life of mere glory, ma- 
jefly, and bleffednefs ; but a life of office, love, and care^ 
hereon does the prefent fafety and future eternal life of the 
difciples depend. He lives as their Mediator, King, Pro- 

the Chriflians joy. - 265 

pilet, and Prieft : thus he is reprefentcd, Rev. v. 6. And 
I beheld^ and lo in the m'ldjl of the throne and of the four 
beafts. and in the midjl of the elders^ flood a Lantb as it had 
been flain^ this is his prieftly office ; having feven horns ^ or 
perfect power, this is his kingly oflce; and feven eyes^ 
which are the feven fpir its of God, or a fulnefs of all fpiri- 
tual light, this is his prophetical office : and if fo, needs 
it be wondered at, that the difciples are glad when they 
fee him ? 

10. This joy proceeds from the beholder's pfoperty in 
the objecl. A beggar feels not the joy of another man's 
wealth ; nor does a malefactor, going to the gibbet, feel any 
joy at another malefactor's pardon : but our Lord Jefus is 
the property of believers ; he is theirs, and they are his. 
He is more theirs than they are their own ; they poffefs 
more in hi'm than in tliemfelves : defective in themfelves j 
but complete in him ; they are weak in themfelves, but 
itrong in him ; they are dead in themfelves, but alive in 
him; mutable in themfelves, but eltabliilied in him: I a?n 
my Beloved's, and my Beloved is 7?iine. 

2dly, Reafons may be drawn from the fubjed of the 
fight, or perfon feeing the Lord. As, " 

I. Self need of the Lord makes the difciples glad when 
they fee him. Both faints and iinners need our Lord Je* 
fus. Sinners need to ht fo joined to the Lord, as to be one 
fpirit with him : and hence is that expreffion^ John xv. 6. 
If a man abide not in me, he is cafl forth as a branch, and 
is withered. And faints need him ; to be more and more 
clofely united to him, and to be growing up in all things 
unto the Head, John xv. 4. Abide in me, and I in you: as 
the branch cannot bear fruit of itfelf except it abide in the 
vine, no more can ye, except ye abide in me* Sinners need 
his blood, being guilty before God, fubjecc to the judg- 
ment of God, and obnoxious to his wrath and vengeance: 
and faints need his blood likewife ; for, though they be 
waflien as to their ftate, their feet are often defiled, by 

L 1 

rL(>(i A Sight ^Christ, 

going tlirough a dirty world: He that is clean needeth not 
hut to wajh his feet. Sinners need his Spirit, for without 
it they cannot worihip God fuitably to his nature ; for 
God is a Spirit: and faints need him likewife ; for it is not 
enough in order to fpiritual worfhip, that they have the 
Spirit of God dwelling in them, but he muft likewife ex- 
cite tliem by his gracious influences. A heart may be 
fpiritual, when a particular act of w^orfliip is not fo: the 
Spirit may dwell in the heart, and yet fufpend his influ- 
ences : the choiceft acts of worihip are but infirmities 
without his help; Horn. viii. 26. Likewife the Spirit afo 
helpcth our infirmities. Sinners need him, and every thing 
about him, and fo do faints: but fmners do not feel their 
need of him, whereas faints do, and that makes him a 
glad fight to them ; for to the hungry foul every hitter thing 
is fweet. When an indemnity is proclaimed, thofe who 
are not liable to condemnation, feel no great joy at it ; 
but it makes the hearts of the condemned to leap for joy. 
Mattli. ix. 12. They that he whole need not the phyfician^ hut 
they that are fie k, 

2. Felt hemfit by the fight makes the difciples glad 
when they fee the Lord. There is nothing^ that aflfecls 
men with greater joy, than their being delivered from 
imminent dana^er. When the children of Ifrael were de- 
livered at the Pied-Sea, from the Egyptians who purfued 
them, then sang Mofes and Ifrael. Juft fo, the foul when 
it reilecls on the dreadful wrath of an angry God, which 
it was expofed to, the dreadful riik it ran, of being 
fwallowed up by endiefs woes and miferies, but from 
which it is now delivered by Chriil, it cannot but fill the 
foul w^ith joy. When a criminal, brought to the place of 
execution, and his neck on the block, expecting every 
moment the fatal blow, fees the man that comes with a 
pardon, how joyful is hel Juft fo, the believer when, by 
a fight of Chrift, he fees that he has paffied from death to 
life ; that the ivintcr is over and gone ; that he has no more 

the Chrijlians Joy. 267 

to dread from an angry God, who now addrcfies him as in 
thefe good words, Ifa. liv. 7, 8, c;. For a [mall moment have 
I forfaken thee ; but with great mercy will I gather thee^ See. 
O what incxpreilible joy arifes from a fenfe of this! 

3. Known benefit to be received by the light. They 
have experience, by former fights, of the advantages to be 
reaped by a new one ; this makes them defire a new dif- 
covcry of him in his power and glory^ as heretofore in the 
fanduary^ and rejoice when obtained. They cannot but 
rejoice at a fight of the Lord, becaufe they know it will 
humble pride, turning their comelinefs into corruption as 
it did Daniel's, ch.x. 8.: Give them boldnefs in their ap- 
proaches to his footflool ; as it did Moies, txod. xxxiv. 
6, 7, 9.: Supprefs their jealoufies, difpel their doubts and 
fears, and crufh their unbelief: fo thefe who a few hours 
before were fmking inta difpondency, faying, We trujied 
it had been he which Jhould ha^ve redeemed Ifrael^ but feared 
the worft, were, upon feeing him, elated with joy. 

idly^ Keafons may be given from the nature of the 

I . This light doth appropriate Chrift, and all that he is, 
and hath to the foul; and hence the difciples are filled with 
joy upon feeing him. I'his fight doth appropriate his 
perfon; fo did the church. Song v. 16. This is my beloved^ 
and this is my friend^ O ye daughters of Jerufalem. When 
ever Thomas faw him, as in ver. 28. he claims an interefl: 
in him. My Lord and my God. It claims interefl in all his 
perfections, cifices, and relations, and in all he doth 
poffefs. In viewing his righteoufnefs, they appropriate 
it to themfelves, Ifa. xlv. 24. Surely in the Lord have I 
righteoufnefs and flrength. In feeing him in the riches of 
his grace, they appropriate them : fo did the man accord- 
ing to God's heart, Pfal. cxix. 57. Thou art my portion^ O 
Lord. They appropriate to themfelves the whole of his 
purchafe, flowing from eternal love, GaL ii. 20. — Who 

LI 2 

^6B A Sight (/Christ, 

loved me, and gave h'lmfelf for me. With joy of heart they 
snay fay. The Lord is my Jhepberd, I Jhall not want. 

2. Faith's views of the Lord beget hofe, i Pet. i. 3. 
Blejfed be the God and Father of our Lord Jefus Chrijl, who 
according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again to a 
lively hope. It begets hope that they fhall fee him for ever, 
i^ct to face : formerly they were under fear of hell's 
wrath ; but by a fight of the Lord, it is turned into a 
hope of an iyiheritance, incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadr 
eth not away, "What is heaven think you, Sirs? It is nor 
thing but the everlafting vifion of the Lord ; feeing him 
as he is, and feeing all the glorious attributes and perr 
fe6i:ions of the divine nature, Ihining in their meridian 
glory in his perfon. A fight of the Lord then is heaven 
begun ; and the firft fruits enfurc the whole crop; He will 
give grace and glory. He produces joy, Rom. v. 2. And 
rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Hope is ^ greater pof^ 
fefiion to the people of God than all things w^hich they 
poffefs ; and what wonder is it then though they rejoice 
when thev fee the Lord? 

3. A fight of the Lord produces holinefs and conformity 
to the objed;. Beholding as in a glafs the glory of the Lord^ 
we are changed into the fame image. According to the 
meafure of the manifeftation of Chrifii's glory to the foul, 
fo is the degree of likenefs to him : perfect views of his 
glory produce perfect likenefs ; i John iii. 2. When he 
Jhall appear, we fhall be like- him; for we fhall fee him as he 
is : and imperfect views of him beget imperfeft likenefs: 
perfecl likenefs again produces perfedl fatisfaciion, Pfalm 
xvii. 15 . As for me, I will behold thy face in righieoufnefs : 
I fhall be fatisfied when I awake with thy likenefs: and im-f 
perfect likelefs begets imperfect fatisfadion ; Pfal. iv. 6, 7. 
Lord lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us ; 
thou hafl put more gladnefs in my heart, than in the time that 
their corn dnd their wine increafed. And iiiuft it not afford 
the foul great fatisfaction and joy, to find his nature xt- 

the Chriftlans Joy, 269 

.cover fomething of its original rectitude; to find new 
health, vigour, and beauty returning; to find his dif- 
jointed faculties all replaced, and new life come into his 
dry bones, fo as he is made to live the very life of God, 
a life of holinefs, to which he was formerly efi:ranged? un- 
doubtedly it mufl:; 2 Cor. i. 12. Our rejoicing is this^ the 
teflimony of our own conference^ that in ftmplicity and godly 
Jtncerity^ not with flefJAy wifdom^ but by the grace of God^ we 
have had our coverfation in the world. 

IV. The lafl: thing propofed was to make application of 
the fubjecl. 

1 . Hence learn that religion is no melancholy employment^ 
it brings joy; Then were the difciples glad* A gracelefs 
world (landers the ways of God, as if they were dark and 
uncomfortable : but, O that they would come and make 
a trial, and they would find it to be quite otherwife; or 
if they will not, let them believe the fpies that have been 
in the land of promife, who are the only fit perfons to 
atteft this truth, and they will tell that wifdo?n*s ways are 
pleafantnefs^ and all her paths are peace. Religion indeed 
retrenches mens finful pleafures ; but it abounds with fpi- 
ritual ones: it changes the courfe of joy ; but does not 
require you to renounce it. And hence we read of, and, 
O that wc knew they^^y and peace that is in believing, 

2 . Hence fee the aflonifhing grace and condefcenfion of 
our Lord, in that he will allow the like of us a fight of 
him. O, what are we, vile wretches, finful dufl: and 
aflies, that he fhould ihew us fuch favour and kindnefs ! 
O what can move him to this, feeing he is infinitely glo - 
rious, and fi:ands in no need of us ! Surely nothing at all 
but his own free grace. Admiration was a great part of 
the worftiip of our firfi: parents in paradife ; it is the ex- 
ercife of glorified faints ; and there is great reafon for it a- 
mong God's children in this world, feeing they are pri- 
vileged with fuch difcoveries pf him., as make their hearts 

270 A Sight ^Christ, 

to rejoice; efpecially confidering, that there was never 
the like ihown to the angels that iinned, from whom he 
hides his face, and who, as exiles from the Father of 
lights, muft inhabit utter and eternal darknefs. 

3. Hence we may be informed what a valuable blef- 
fing the gofpei and go/pel ordinances are, which are glaffes 
to fee his glory in. Thefe are the glory of Scotland; and 
if they go away, we may take up the complaint of Eli's 
daughter-in-law, and cry, Ichahod^ The glory is departed 

from our Ifrael: and nothing flrange is it to fee the faints 
putting a value upon gofpel ordinances, becaufe therein 
they fee the Lord, fo as to make their hearts rejoice. 
Carnal men do not think it ilrange to fee men flocking to 
fairs and markets; but they wonder what the Lord's peo- 
ple mean in making fuch a work about facraments and 
fermons; but they need not, for they have good reafon 
for fo doing, namely, that they may fee the Lord: they 
are the means of the fullell: and cleareil manifeftations of 
the divine glory on this fide heaven, and this makes them 
eftcem them highly ; How amiable are thy tabernacles^ O 
Lord of Hojlsl Pfal. Ixxxiv. i. Yea, long after them ear- 
neftly; My foul thirjleth for thecy my fief b longeth for thee^ to 
fee thy fewer and thy glory as I have feen thee in the fanclu- 
ary^ Pfal. Ixii. i, 2. Nay, attend them diligently; I was 
glad when they faid unto me^ Let us go into the houfe of the 
Lordy Pfal. cxxii. i. 

4. Here we may fee one difference betwixt the mani- 
feftation of God made in the works of creation and provi- 
dence, and the manifeftation made of him in Chrijl : the 
one is fuited to our reafon, the other to our faith, and 
faith alone. Reafon alone can fee no glory in the reprefen- 
tation made of God in Chrifl : all that is fpoken thereof 
in the gofpel is fooHfhnefs to it; but by that faith which 
is of divine operation, we have the light of the knowledge of 
this glory: and this is the reafon why fo many profeffors 
are fo little affeded with the gofpel, notwithftanding the 

the Chrijlians Joy. 271 

continual preaching of it to them, and their outward 
profeflion of it. Some fenfe they have of the power of 
God in the works of creation and providence, and in the 
workings of their natural confciences; but farther they 
have no real fenfe of him, and the reafon is, becaufe the)' 
have not faith, whereby alone the reprefentation made of 
God in Chrift, and declared in the gofpel, is made effec- 
tual to the fouls of men: All men have not faith, 

5. Hence fee the reafon of the changes in believers frame 
of mind. Why are they at one time joyful? It is becaufe 
they have feen the Lord. Why are they fad at another ? 
It is becaufe they have miffed a fight of him. It is the 
greateft joy and happinefs imaginable for them to fee the 
Lord. And as a fight of him is their greateft happinefs, 
fo to be under the hiding of his face, is their greateft grief: 
a fight of the Lord fufEces them ; and when they mifs a 
fight of him, what can fuflice them^ A believer lofes not 
only the joy and triumph of his faith, but his very peace: 
he is not only in a dark, but in a difturbed condition, not 
knowing where to lay his head, w^hen God hides his face: 
Thou didft hide thy face^ faid the Pfalmift, and I was 

6. See the mifery of all unbelievers under a gofpel dif- 
penfation. Why ? they may have a fight of the Lord, and 
yet they do not fee him : The light Jhineth in darknefs^ and 
the darknefs comprehendeth it not. This is the greateft mifery, 
as it is the greateft aggravation of their fin that can be : 
This is the condemnation^ that light is come into the worlds and 
men love darknefs rather than light. If the light had not 
come among them, then their condemnation had not been 
fo great : their fin had not been fo much aggravated, and 
their punifhment had not been fo grievous. Their fin is 
of a deeper dye than the fin of Heathens ; yea, than the 
fin of devils. Their cafe is moft miferable, for it is a 
dreadful fign of reprobation \ If our gofpel be hidy it is hid 
to them that are lofl. 

272 A Sight of Cniiisty 

7. See what would be a good preparative for aft evil 
day: juft "^ fight of the Lord^ which makes glad the heart. 
Sirs, (as faith an eminent minifter) " Days of adverfity 

feem to be coming upon the lands of Britain and Ire- 
land: we have all imaginable grounds to expecl a day 
*' of wrath, confidering we have left God, and God has 
*' in a greit meafure left us : we have broken off from 
" God, and are broken among ourfelves." There are 
likewife all the iigns of a day of wrath ; as you will fee if 
you compare the difpenfations of this day, with the word 
of God, Matth. xxiv. 5,6,7,8. Well, a light of the Lord 
is the beft preparative for a day of this kind. As nothing 
can quiet a foul, when a dark vail and cloud is on his 
glory; fo there is nothing can diftrefs a foul when Chrift's 
glory is feen. All fear is removed, and every ftorm finks 
into a calm, when the Lord is feen; Matth. xiv. 27. Be 
of good cheer ! it is I ; be not afraid. So, if any of you were 
to afk my beft advice^ concerning your being prepared for 
days of darknefs, my anfwer would be this, Coine and fee 
the Lord, The faints have all their comfort from the Lord ; 
whoever then would have comfort, muft wade to heaven 
for it: it is a commodity not to be found in this world; 
you may fetch in wealth from many coafts of the earth ; 
but you cannot fetch in comfort till you addrefs the God 
of heaven, who on this account is called, The God of all 
conflation. We can procure our own forrow quickly, but 
God only makes us rejoice by Jefus Chrift our Lord ; of 
whom it may be faid as Lamech faid to Noah, 'This fame 
(hall comfort us concerning our ivork^ and the toil of our hands y 
becaufe of the ground which the Lord hath ciirfed, 

8. From this do6trine let us learn what heaven will be, 
where believers will fee the Lord as he is^ and be eternally 
in his company. If our joy here from faith's difcoverie&i 
be fo great, what will be the joy in that immediate vifionf 
If fuch be the joy of faith in hearing of our Lord by his 
letter, and feeing him by his pidiure, what will the joy be 

the Chrijlians Joy. 275 

of feeing him face to face, and dwelling with him fpj? 
ever? U the pairengcis at fea have iuch joy m feeing the 
defired land afar otf, through the pi ofped of faith, wh;5:t 
will be the meafure of theii joy when they come to hca? 
ven, M'h^.re they fliail have perpetual tranquillity, and per^ 
feci delight in the fruition of God, in whom, as the cen- 
tre, all the lines of created comforts do meet ; yea, arjd 
much m.orc than eve hath fcen or ear heard? if a cluftei? 
of grapes here be fo fweet, what will the vintage be? If 
it be fo raviihing to have joy entering into us, what VyilJ. 
it be when we fliall enter into joy, and fwim in an OQean. 
of joy for ever more? When God iliall fay, Well done gqgcf 
and faithful fero ant ^ enter thou into the joy of thy Ij)rd. 

9. Hence fee that it is no wonder though the Lo,rd^§ 
people defpife the dreggy delights of this world. They zv§ 
allowed joy in the Lord^ which is far preferable, Wprldly 
joy is but a flight and fuperficial thing; For even in laughr 
tcr the heart IS forrozuful : whereas fpiritual joy is inwa;rd 
and fubftantial ; / will fee you again^ and your heart fball 
rejoice^ and your joy no man taketh from you, — Worldly j,oy 
does us much hurt, Hof. iv. 11. Whoredom and wine^ c^nd 
new wine take away the heart : whereas fpiritual joy ,doe^ 
us great good, Neh. viii. 10. ''The joy of the Lord is your 
Jlretigth. — Worldly joy is foon over and gone, and leave;? 
bitteniefs and remorfc behind ; Prov. xiv. 13. 'The end of 
that mirth is heavinefs : but God in Chrift, the object ,o£ 
fpiritual joy is full and frclli to all eternity : angels and 
faints are not weary of him. nor ever will be. Befides^ 
carnal mirth is but madnefs, Eccl. ii. 2. I faid of laug-h:? 
ter^ it is mad; and of mirth ^ what doth itf whereas to re-r 
joice in the Lord is the hel2:ht of wifdom. — In one word, 
joy in the Lord excels worldly joy^ as much as a real feaij: 
does an imaginary one. As an hungry man dreameth a;i(f 
behold he eateth^ but wl)en he awaketh his foul is ,ev,ipty, 
WJiat wo;ider then thoiigh the Lord's people deipifc the 

M ra 

274 ^ Sight ^Christ, 

delights of this world ? Jofeph bids the patriarchs, Regard 
not your Ji'ujf^ for the good of the land of Egypt is before you : 
fo fays faith to the Chriftiaii, when it gets a view of the 
Lord, " Regard not the lumber and rubbilh of this world, 
for the good of the land of promife is before you ; yea, 
the Lord, the good himfelf, is before you :" Gal. vi. 14. 
God forbid that I fJjould glory fave in the crofsof our Lord 
Jefus Chrij}^ by whom the world is crucified unto fue^ and I 
unto the ivorld, 

10. Hence fee that it is no wonder though the people 
of God long for heaven^ where the vilion of the Lord will 
be full and uninterrupted for ever. Oar Lord is the 
true God and eternal life. Now, when a difciple fees e- 
ternal life, is it any wonder though he be weary of tem- 
poral life? Natural things are but burdenfome trifles to 
thofe who are flored with fpiritual; Luke v. 39. iVb man 
afo having drunk old wine, flraightway defireth new ; for, he 
faith, the old is better, A true fight of the Lord makes 
the world fcarce worth the looking after, or the living in: 
fuch perfons live becaufe God will have them live to do 
him fervice ; not becaufe they defire to live to ferve their 
own ends, Phil. i. 23. For I am in a fir ait betwixt two, 
haying a defre to depart and to be with Chrifl which is far 
better : neverthelefs to abide in the flefl) is more needful for you. 
Lajliy, Hence fee what would make a Ughtfome comniu- 
nion-fabbath amonoft us ; juft a fight of the Lord. Glori- 
ous objecls arc very pleafant to the eyes that behold them; 
Light is fwcct, and it is a pleafant thing to behold the fun : 
but, O what is all created glory, but a fhadow to the 
glory of our Lord ? And therefore the beholding of his 
glory cannot but yield inexprefTible fatisfadlion to the foul. 
A iiofht of the Lord would flrens:then our faith, inflame 
our love, quicken our defires, and fill us with joy ; and 
the livelv exercifes of thefe £»"races would make it a fweet 
communion-day: and faving views of the Lord, would 
make it one of the beil day^ ever we had in the world. 



the Chnjliatis Joy. 275 

and oblige us to cry out. This is the day which the Lord 
bath made^ we will rejoice and he glad in it. 

The docliine may be improven for e. lamination and trial. 
Have ye feen the Lord? or, in other words, have ye 
real religion ? for a fight of the Lord by faith is the fureft 
tell of mens ftates that can be. Ihcy that have it are 
true believers, for by it they are nvade fuch ; i John v. 
20. And zve knozo that the Son of God is conie^ and hath 
given us an under flanding that we may know him that is true. 
They that never faw the Lord, remain ftill in the pit 
where darknefs and death reign. 

1. If you have feen the Lord, you have found hi^ glory 
to be fingular, tranfcendent, and matchlefs ; if ever you 
had a true view of the glory of Chriil, ye will judge that 
there is no glory like it. What you formerly thought 
glorious, you will then reckon to have 7io glory by reafon 
of the glory that excelleth. If a man born blind had his 
fight given him in the night, he w^ould wonder at the 
light of the candle : if he were abroad in the night, and 
faw the ftars and the moon ihinincr, he would wonder 
ftill more : but when he faw the fun arife he would won- 
der moft of all, and frankly own he never faw fuch a light 
before: well, fo it will be with them on whom the Sun 
of Righteoufnefs has arifen ; they will own that there is 
no glory like ChriiFs glory. If our Lord's glory has not 
difgraced all created glory, you have not feen it : I count all 
things but lofs and dung, for the excellency of the knowledge of 
Jefus Chrifl my Lord, 

2, If ye have feen the Lord, ye will defire to fee ??iore 
of him. What the wife man fays in general of fight. 
The eye is not fatisfied with feeing^ may well be applied to 
this fpiritual fight of the glory of Chrifl : it is not fatisfi- 
ed, nor ever will, till the believer be where our Lord is, 
and fee him as he is. Th<; fpoufe had many fights of his 
glory, and yet fhe concludes her fong with a petition for 

M m 2 

ty6 ' J Sight o/* Christ, ■ 

another figlit of hiin ; Make hafle^ my Beloved^ and he thott 
like to a roe^ or to a young hart upon the mountains of fpiceSi 
Paul had many clear views of his glory, and yet ftili ftu^ 
died our Lord Jefus. 

3. If ye have feen the Lord and his glory, ye have 
ieen your own hlindncfs and darknefs, UnbeHeVers, who 
never faw his glory, think they always have feen him, 
and are ready to cry out. My God we know thee : but be- 
lievers, who have i^Qn him, think they know next to 
iiothing of him ; i Cor. viii. 2. And if any man think thai 
he knoiveth any thino^^ he knoweth nothing;^ yet as he ouqjjt to 
know. If ye ihoiild hear any hian fay that he had feen 
the fun, and could Hare on it fteadily, ye would eafily 
difcover a lye ; for every man that knows the fun, knows 
that his glory is too bright for the ftrongeft eye to behold 
liim fteadily. Well, juft fo, a proud conceit of a man^s 
knowing the Lord is an evidence he never faw him ; for, 
where oar Lord is feen, a perfons blindnefs is difcovered.' 
as in his light we fee light, fo in it we fee our own dark- 
iiefs ; Vx'Ce is me ! for I am undone ; why ? Becaufe I am un- 
clean^ and have feen the Lord, Even in natural knowledge 
the more a man knows, the more he is fenfible of his ig* 
iiorance. Thus Socrates, one of the mod knowing men 
In his day, profeffed that he knew nothing: and it is much 
inore fo, in a faving knowledge of the Lord; 'the perfon 
poiTefTed of it, laments his ignorance and blindnefs, that 
lie cannot fee the Lord more clearly and diftinclty: and 
thoucth tliere be ftill infinitely more beauty to be feen in 
him, yet he wants the feeing eye and the underftanding 
heart, as vv^e find was the cafe with godly Agur ; Prov. 
XXX. 2,3.^ Surely / am more brutifJj than any man^ and have 
not the under ft anding of a man, I neither learned wifdoni^ nor 
have the knowledge of the Holy. 

4. If ye have feen the Lord, then fome meafure of con- 
formity to hini has been wrought in your fouls ; 2 Cor. iii. 

i % I We ail ^)iih bpen face bekclding as in a glafs the glory of 

the ChriJIian^s jfoy, 277 

tke Lord^ are changed i?ito the fame Image from glory to glory ^ 
even as by the Spirit of the Lord, Mark the expreflion, we 
all : it IS not only / Paul an apoftle, but all we^ who under 
the dilpenfatlon of the gofpel, have had the vail taken off 
our .hearts and eyes : we all behold the fame glory, and with 
the fagae fruits, though we do not all behold it with the 
fame clearnefs, nor with the fame meafure of conformity ; 
yet all, who truly behold his glory, are truly made con- 
formable to him. If no likenefs to Chrift be wrought In^ 
you, know that it is either not the right Lord you have 
feen,»or not the right eye you have feen him with: or that 
it is not a right glafs you have fee him in ; for where all 
thefe are right, the fruit of likenefs to Chriil never faileth. 

5 . If you have feen the Lord, you will be deeply humbled 
and abafed by the light ; Job xlii. 5,6. But now mine eye 
feeth thee J wherefore I abhor myfef^ and repent in dufl aitd 
in afloes. It is the nature of other difcoveries to puff up, 
but this pulls down the plumes of pride, finks a man to 
the duft, without fmking • him to hell ; lays him flat on 
the earth, thereby to raife him up to heaven. A man 
that fees our Lord in a faving way, cannot look on his 
infinite holinefs and righteoufnefs, but his pride'is prefent- 
ly dafhed out of countenance, and all his own excellencies 
appear to be mere ihadows. Try your difcoveries there- 
fore by this : if they exalt your pride and felf-conceit, they 
are not faving ; if, on the contrary, they ftrip you of it, 
you may that they are. 

6. If you have feen the Lord, your hearts will be wean- 
ed from all things here below. A difcovery of this ex- 
cellency fets the creature below him in the foul's efteem. 
As the glory of the rifing fun makes the moon look lowr- 
ing and pale, and the flars to difappear; fo a difcovery 
of the glory of Chrift makes all worldly glory and beauty 
to vanifli. 

7. If ye have feen the Lord, your fight of him will not 
always be alike dear, Thofe whofe views of the Lord are 

278 A Sight of Christ J 

always the fame without any change or viclflitude of light 
and darknefs, never faw him favingly at all ; Pfal. Iv. 19. 
Becatife they have no changes^ therefore they fear not God, 
True believers have fometimes more and fometimes lefs 
of his glory manifefted to them, and always lefs than they 
would wifh to have : this is fo univerfal in the experience 
of believers that we need not infill on it. 

We fhall next improve the dodrine in an ufe of reproof 
I. To fuch of the Lord's people as are always fad and 
melancholy. They who are of fuch a difpolition do not 
live up to the provifion our Lord allows them, which is 
joy. In the word, the Lord fays, Rejoice evermore ; and 
they live as if God had faid, Weep evermore. This is 
verily a fault, however difguifed ; it is a diflionour to God, 
a difcredit to their profeilion, a difadvantage to themfelves, 
and a grief to the Spirit of God. — It is a difhonour to God, 
and a difcredit to religion, as it brings up an evil report up- 
on the land of promife, and f© difcourages others, when 
we fliould invite, and by our example, encourage them 
to go with us ; Pfal. xxxiv. 2. My foul JIo all make her boaji 
in God ; the humble /hall hear thereof and be glad, — It is a 
difadvantage to themfelves, as it hinders them in the fpi- 
ritual life ; Neh. viii. 10. It is as wings to the bird which 
make it flee higher, but a fad Chriflian hath loft his wings. 
— It is grieving to the Spirit, becaufe they refift his work 
as a comforter : befides there is much ingratitude in it ; 
for it leaves a ftain upon the rich mercies of God in Chrift, 
when they are always complaining, and never rejoicing 
in God. I know in fome it deferves pity, viz, in thofe 
who are kept in bondage^ and lie in this fituation, till 
God faith. Go forth. Alas ! poor creatures, they cannot 
break prifon, when they w^ill. It is eafy for thofe who 
ftand upon the fliore to fay to thofe who are toffed upon 
the waves. Sail thus^ when they are tugging as much as 
they can for life \ but they are likewife to be rebuked, be- 

' the Chrijlians Joy. 279 

caufe they refafe to be comforted ; Rachael might weep for 
her children^ becaiife they were not ; but fhe is to be blamed 
for refufing to he comforted: their prefent duty is to come 
to Chrift for eafe, Matth. xi. 28. Come unto me all ye that 
labour and are heavy laden ^ and I will give you reft ; and yet 
they will not improve the offer or command. If a king 
advances a man, and he is always fad before him, the 
king cannot fail to be angry with him ; Neh. ii. 2 . Where^ 
fore the king f aid unto me^ Why is thy countenance fad^ filing 
thou art not fick f This is nothing elfe hut forrow of heart. 
Then was I very fore afraid, 

2. To all fuch as feek their joys from ciflerns of their 
own^ leaving ihit fountain of living waters from which they 
naturally flow. Thefe perfons may, in general, be re- 
duced to two claiTes. 

Such as feek joy from the ciftern of the creature. Some 
feek it in wealth and greatnefs ; others in fenfual pleafures; 
and others in low, fordid, and brutilh lufts: to all whom 
wx may fay, as the angel to the woman, Why feek ye the 
living among the dead? or as Samuel to Saul, Set not thy 
miyid upon the affes ; there are nobler things to fix thy de- 
fires upon. Solomon had greater variety, and more wif- 
dom to improve it, than any now have ; and he made it 
his bufinefs curioufly to examine all the creatures, and to 
find out all the good which was under the fun ; and all 
his enquires amounted to nothing : Vanity of vanities^ faith 
the Preacher; vanity of vanities^ all is vanity : fo he begins 
his book ; and to ihew he was not miftaken, fo he con- 
cludes it. Every particular is vanity, and all in a col- 
lection is vanity ; enough to vex and weary the foul, but 
never enough to fill it: many of them finful delights, 
poifoned cordials, and killing joys ; all of them earthly, 
painful in, and naufeous after enjoyment ; and, in their 
operation, hardening and eflranging from God. What- 
ever delights men take pleafure in, leaving Chrift out, 
are but as the feaft of him, who fat under a naked fword 

28o A Sight o/" Christ, 

hanging over his head, by a ilender thread ; or as Bel- 
Ihazzar's dainties, with a hand-writing againft the wall : 
in the midft of all fuch joy, the heart is forrowful. Come 
away then finner from the broken ciftcrn to the fountain ; 
thy happinefs is in the Lord : feek no more your joy in 
any thing below the fun, but feek it in a God in Chrift. 
Such as feck joy from the law as a ciflern. AH the 
comfort they have is from their own duties. This and 
the other duty they blefs themfelves in ; and when any 
qu'ilm comes over their confciences; the cordial which 
they ufe to revive and comfort themfelves, is not the 
blood and righteoufnefs of Chrift ; but the righteoufnefs 
of their own lives. Well, whoever ye be that take this 
courfe to win at joy, we aflure you ye will be difappoint- 
ed ; for Chrift calls you to himfelf, from all others as com- 
forters of no value: Matth. xi. 28. Come unto me, all ye 
that labour and are heavy laden^ and I will ^ive you reft. 
Work as if ye were to win at the rivers of pleafures at 
God*s right hand by your works ; but always look on 
your work as if ye had done nothing at all : this is the 
way of the faint indeed; Phil. iii. 3. For we are the cir- 
cwncijton, which worJJnp God in the Spirit^ and rejoice in 
Chri/l J ejus ^ and have no confidence in the fleJJj : we are not 
any thing behind others in holy duties, nay, we exceed 
them ;' for we worjlnp God in the Spirit ; but it is not from 
this we draw our comfort, for, we rejoice in Chrift Jefus, 
and have no confidence in the flefh^ or in any thing done 
by it ; for, curfed is man that trufteth in man^ and maketh 
fief}? his arm, 

3. To all who inftead of rejoicing in the Lord, are of- 
fended with him. Our Lord Jefus does not give any juft 
caufe of offence; but there are many things about him 
which the corrupt and proud hearts of men do turn into 
matter of offence to themfelves : To them who believe^ to 
the faving- of their fouls^ he is, and always has been preci- 
ous^ being the Sun of righteoufnefs^ the rock of ages^ 

the Chr'i/llans Joy. 2§f 

the bread and the life of their fouls. But to them that 
believe not, he is, and has been, -x ft one of Jlumblhig, and 
a rock of of hue ^ i Pet. ii. 7. 

4. To all fuch as lUgbt opportunities of feeing the Lord; 
all fuch as. unnecellarily abfent themfelves from the ordi- 
nances. Alasl how many of this generation wilfully ne- 
glecl and defpife the ordinances of the gofpel altogether ? 
others attend only at certain occafions ; and multitudes 
abfent themfelves upon very trivial grounds. A fmall 
matter proves an hindrance where there is no love to God, 
nor defne after him, and the faving difcoveries and mani- 
feflations of his glory. 

The laft ufe lliall be of exhortation. i. To difciplds; 
and, 2. To ftrangers. 

ly?, To dfciples who have feen the Lord, and are 
joyful at the fight. 

[1.3 Be exhorted to prove your joy. The devil has 
his counterfeit joy and comfort: put yourfdves to the 
trial, while I fhall lay before you fome differences betwixt 
the joy of believers, and the joy of hypocrites, efpecially 
at communion occalions. 

.(1.) They differ in their antecedents. True joy ufually 
follows 2.h^Y forrcw^ on account of fin ; ^{^a. Ivii. 15, Thus 
faith the high and lofty One^ that inhabiteth eternity^ whofe 
name is holy^ I dwell In the high and holy place^ with him 
alfo that is of a contrite and humble fpirit^ to revive the fpi- 
rit of the humble^ and to revive the heart of the contrite ones* 
Whereas the hypocrite knows nothing of this, but has 
his wine before his pots are filled with water ; his morn- 
ing comes before his evening. Did your light then arife 
out of darknefs? did you bleed before you were healed? 
Then you may hope it is a kindly work of God's Spirit ; 
make much of it, and blefa your God who has given you 
this new wine to chear your hearts. 

(2.) They differ in their ground and foundation. The 

N n 

282 J Sight (3/ Christ, 

joy of the bypocrite {lands bottomed on Lis external pri- 
vileges, his common attainments, and paiTmg frames and 
emoLions of affeclion in duties, which makes it but for a 
moment: but the jOy of the faint is founded on CbriJI^ 
the rock of ages, and is not eaiily fliaken ; fo that when 
external privileges and natural advantages fail him, when 
attainments decay and common emotions fubfide, ]iis joy 
remains; Hiib. iii. 17. Although the Jig-tree JJo all not hkjfom^ 
neither Jh all fruit he in. the vines ; the labour of the olive [hall 
fail^ and the fields Jhall yield no raeat^ the flock fhall he cut 
off from the fold ^ and there Jhall he no herd in the flails : yet 
will I rej-oice in the Lord^ and joy in the God of ray falvation, 

(3.) They differ in their matter. Hypocrites joys ter- 
minate upon the external part of duties and ordinances: 
but the believer's joy is upon the account of Cliriil in 
thefe. Hypocrites rejoice in ordinances, only as they fa- 
tisfy confcience, and get them a name among men : but 
faints rejoice in them as they are means of enjoying com- 
munion with the Lord. Hypocrites rejoice moll in the 
rnanifeftations themfelves ; behevers rejoice moft in the 
author and obje6l of them : for, then were the. dif cities glad 
when they f aw the Lord. — In ihort, the faints would not 
care for joy if God himfelf were not their jo^. 

(4..) They differ in their /r^,:/7j- : fuch as thefe following. 

True joy humbles.^ whereas falfe joy puffs up the foul. 
True joy doth humble ; for it is not fountled on what be- 
longs to felf : therefore thefe who rejoice in Chrijl^ have 
no confidence in the flejl.\ Phil. iii. 3. Falfe joy puffeth up 
the foul, looking upon thefe things on which it ftands as 
its ov/n, and brmgs the finner mto fecurity. 

The believer's joy purifies the foul. As he that hath 
this hope, {k^ he that hath this joy in him, furifes himjelf 
even as God is pure. He who is filled with the joy of be- 
lieving, will difpife all earthly and carnal joys, and guard 
againil them', as being oppofite to, and fubveriive of the 
iuperior joy he poffeffes^ and with which his foul is delight- 

the Chnjiians Joy. 283 


cd : whereas the hypocrites joy leaves the licart (llll carnal, 
and the life unholy. It' your joy does not purify your 
heart, fay not the Spirit of comfort brought it to hand ; 
for he would not bid thcc good fpeed in an evil way.: he 
inde< d eives the li^J^ht of comfort to them that lit in dark- 
nefs, and in the region and ihadow of death ; but it is to 
guide Gur feet in the way of peace. 

The believer's joy is ftreno^tbemng and reflorative ; it 
makes the Chrifiian flroni^ to iiHit aq;ain(l: fm and Satan: 
a drausrht of this makes him %o forth like a crijnt refreih- 
ed with wine ; and for this rcafon the Pfalmift prays fo 
earneftly for it, Refldre unto me the joy of thy f ah at ion ; then 
will I teach tranfgrefjors thy way^ and f inner s fJj all be convert- 
ed unto thee : but the hypocrites joy leaves him as weak,as 
formerly, and more fo ; it makes him fecure, calHng him 
off his watcii, and rendering him prefamptuous : fo that 
Avhile he fays to himfelf, Peace, peace ; behold fudden de- 
Jlrudion : and what becomes of his hope and joy, whe?i 
God taketh away his foul f The joy of the hypocrite gives 
ftrength to his lulls ; and fo he fins without a damp on 
his fpirits. 

r2.] Be exhorted to improve your privilege. Have 
you leen the Lord, and have been made to rejoice at the 
light? Then improve it, 

I. To thankful nefs to the Lord. If you be healthy^ and 
rich, while others are aiHicted with iiclsinefe and poverty, 
are ye not thankful? and ouecht ye not njuch more to be 
IT) for the health, piofperitv, and chearfulnef^^, of vour fpirits, 
M/hen others are poor and fickly ? Alasl for the back- 
wardncfs of your hearts to this exercife. iVs the Dead-fea 
drinks in the river Jordan, and is never the fweeter; fo 
we receive the Lord's mercies, and are ftill unthankful 
for them. Our hearts in this cafe are like the windows 
of the temple, wide inward to receive mercies, and nar- 
row outward, to fend forth praifes: but if the iron be 
blunt, wx ihould exert the more ftrength: if our hearts 

N n 2 

284 A Sight (/Christ, 

be fo backward to the duty, we fliould urge them the more 
to it, and with repeated importunity charge this duty on 
them, as the Ffahnift, that men ivould praife the Lord 
for bis goodnefs^ arid for his wonderfid "works to the children 
of men ^ Plal. cvii. 8. 

2. Improve it as an argument to love the Lord. You 
fliould love him when he fmites you by hiding his face ; 
but much more when he allows you to fee it with joy : 
Pfal. xxxi. 23. love the Lord ^ all ye his faints. Has he 
feen you again, and made your hearts to rejoice on this 
occafion ? How can ye be frozen at the fire ! how can ye 
chufe but to be turned into feraphims burning in love ! 
This is the only thing wherein ye may return back to God 
"what he gives you. If he is angry with you, ye mull 
not be angry with him again, but fear and tremble before 
him : if he reproves you, ye muft not reprove, but juftify 
him : if he judges you, ye muil not judge, but adore him: 
but if he loves you, ye may, ye muft take the boldnefs 
to love him again ; for he loves that he may be loved. 

3. Improve it to your conflation under other evils. 
What though ye have not health, riches, gifts, employ- 
rncnts, and honours as ochers have ; if our Lord has given 
you himfclf, his Spirit to quicken, his grace to renew, and 
his ioy to comfort you; ihouid fuch conflation {tcmfnall 
to you r What loffes are there which the joy of the Lord 
doth not compenfite? Ye would not want Chrift, if ye 
mio^ht have all the world without him : and Ciall ve be 
dlfpleafed tho' ye have not all the world with him? Nay, 
but having him, fit down contented, for ye can tell a tale 
that all the gracelefs world cannot tell: they can fay as E- 
fau to Jacob, / have much ; but ye can make Jacob's reply, 
/ Jjave all, (for fo the original words in both places run ;) 
all I want, all I deiire, as David expreffeth it, 2 S^m. xxiii. 
5 . This is all my. fahation^ and all my defire. When ye are 
full, enjoy God in all ; and v/hen yp are empty, enjoy all 
ip him. who is all in alL 

the Chrijiians Joy. 285* 

4. Improve it as an antidote againfl: all temptations. 
Whatever comfort and enlargement you have had, ye are 
flill in a militant Hate, and may expect new aflaults from 
your fpiritual enemies. When they come therefore ; when 
the devil, the world, and the flefti would draw away your 
hearts and eyes after them, you may fay, Mine eyes have 
feen the King^ the Lord of Hojls : I have got a heart-glad- 
dening light of the Lord ; and therefore I will turn away 
mine heart and eyes from viewing vanities : luft may put 
a lovely face on them, but they are all vanity. 

5. Improve it to a zealous provocation of others to be 
partakers of the fame joy. In times of feftivity men ufe 
to call their neighbours under their vines and fig-trees. 
Our Lord Jefus is our feaft, and a noble feafl he is ; to 
him therefore we fhould invite one another, as Andrew 
did Simon, and PhiHp, Nathaniel, John 1.41. Joy is of 
all other affections the moil communicative. It is riot con-" 
fined in ones own bofom, but flieds itfelf abroad into the 
bofom of others. It w^as not enough for David to exprefs 
his own joy by dancing before the ark, but he diflributes 
among all the people cakes of bread, pieces of flefh, and 
flagons of wine, that the whole multitude might rejoice 
at the ark of God as well as he ; Go ye^ a7id do like-wife : 
perhaps you have a hufband or wife by your fide ; chil- 
dren, like olive plants round about your tables ; neighbours, 
whofe company you daily enjoy ; and all thefe evidencing 
that they never faw the Lord. O invite them to come and 
fee him : ye have found a feaft, go invite all you can fee 
to come and ihare. So did David, Pfal. xxxiv. 8. tafle 
and fee that the Lord is good. 

6. Improve it to the confolation of fuch of God's peo- 
ple as want it: like the good Samaritan, pour wine and 
oil into their wounds. You have arrived almoft at the 
haven of glory ; but do you not fee others toiled upon the 
fea with the winds and waves of temptation and defertion, 
like to fink us as lead iu the great waters ? O do what you 

286 A Sight 5/" Christ, 

, can to comfort them, 2 Cor. i. 6. Or^ whether we be com- 
forted^ it IS for your confolation and falvation* The comfort- 
able experience of one Chriftian being comniiinicated to 
another, revives and fupports his finking fpirits: and hence 
fays Paul to the Romans, For I long tofeeyou^ 'that I may 
impart unto you fome fpiritual gift^ that I may be comforted 
together with you, . Days have been, when people were 
thus employed : but, alas ! fpiritual converfation is much 
worn out : an evidence that religion is in the decay ; For 
out of the abundance of heart the mouth fpeaketh. 

7. Improve it to a longing to be above where the vifion 
will be full and uninterrupted. The foretaftes of thefe 
divine joys fliould increafe your appetite after the full 
harveft at God's right-hand. The bunch of grapes that 
meets us in the wildernefs, fhould make us long to be in 
the land of promifc ; when we will wafli our garments in 
this wine, and our cloathes in the blood of this grape. 
Think with yourfelves, if a tranfient look of Chrift's face 
be fo fweet, how fweet will it be to be balking ourfelves 
for ever in the light of his countenance ! and therefore, 
Thirft for God the living God^ that ye may appear before him : 
that the day may breaks and the fhadows flee away : Make 
ha/Ie-y my Beloved^ and be thou like a roe^ or a young hdrt^ up" 
on the mountains of f pices, 

[3.] Be exhorted to maintain your joy ; hold it and do 
not let it go : Hold f aft what thou hajl received^ let no man 
take thy crown^ Rev. iii. 1 1. Look to yourfelves that we lofe 
not thofe things which we have wrought^ 2 John ver. 8 . To 
enforce this exhortation, coniider, 

I. What a pity it is that ye fhould at any time be rob- 
bed of fo valuable a bleffing: what can you purchafe of 
equal value by the lofs of it? Had you not better lofe the 
light of the fun and every thing elfQ which you delight 
in ; yea, life itfelf ? Had you not better lofe all than lofe 
the joy of God*3 falvation? for, In his favour is life^ and 
his loving kindnefs is better than life* 

the Chriftian^s "Joy. 29 7 

2 . Confider, that if you lofe your joy in the Lord, you 
know not when you fliall recover it : at lead it may be a 
matter of difficulty. This David found in his experience, 
as the pallionate rcquefts which he puts up, as it were, in an 
agony, fully evince, Pfal. li. 11. Caft me not away from thy 
frefence: deal not with me as with Cain, w^ho was banifh- 
ed from the prefence of the Lord; And take not thy holy f pi r it 
from me^ as was done with the old world, concerning whom 
he faid, his Spirit fhould not always J} rive with men : Reftere 
unto me the joy of thy falvation^ as if he had entirely loft all 
fenfe of it ; and uphold ?ne with thy free Spirit, as if he had 
been fmking into the pit of perdition. 

O but fay fome, what way fhall we maintain our joy ? 
I anfwer, in the following particulars. 

( I .) Be ftrong in the grace that is in Chrift Jefus. There 
is grace in the fountain from whence it flows, which is 
grace in God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft; hence we 
find the Father called, The God of all grace ; and our Lord 
Jcfus is faid to be, full of grace ; and the Holy Ghoft, is 
the Spirit of grace. There is grace in the channel in which 
it runs, which is grace in gofpel ordinances: and there 
is grace in the veffels that receive it ; the fouls of believers. 
Now, if ye would retain grace in the veffels, improve the 
grace in the fountain as flowing forth in the means. Beg 
that the God of all grace would hll the nieans with his 

(2.) Guard againft all manner ofy^/z, efpecially prefump- 
tuous fins, which will weaken both your faith and your 
joy. If you walk carelefly and loofeiy after a light of the 
Lord, you will provoke him to hide his face from you, 
to take the cup of confolation from you, and put a cup 
of trembling into your hands. Ye will cloud your evi- 
dences, fl\ake your hope, atid wither your comfort : fear 
the Lord therefore and his goodnefs, left you fin it away: 
and moreover remember the fight of the Lord which you 
have got will be a great aggravation of your fin ; thus it 


288 A Sight of Christ^ 

is noticed as an aggravation of Solomon's fin, that he tur?i' 
ed from the Lord God of Ifrael who had appeared to him twice. 
Your joy no man nor devil can take from you, but fui 
can • Take heed therefore^ brethren^ left there he in any of y oil 
an evil heart of unbeliefs in departing fom the Iroing God* 
(3.) If ye would keep your joy, keep jovly fight of the 
Lord ; keep this and it will keep thee, and all thy other 
graces j for by faith we Jland: as a foldier, under the pro- 
tection of his ihield, (lands his ground agaiuft all the darts 
thrown at him, fo thou ftandejl by faith ; and if you would 
keep your fight, make much ufe of the word ; that which 
was inftrumental in begetting your faith, will be helpful 
to preferve it ; I mean, the word of God. As it was feed 
for the former purpofe in thy converfion, fo now it is milk 
for the fupport of thy faith. If you would preferve your 
fight of the Lord, keep a good confience^ which fome having 
lojl^ concerning faith have made Jhipw reck, 

2dly^ We tender an exhortation X.o ft rangers^ who never 
faw the Lord. 

O come and fee the Lord. As Mofes, at God's com- 
mand and appointment lifted up the brazen ferpent in the 
wildernefs, that every Ifraelite, fiung by the fiery ferpents, 
might look to it and live : fo our Lord Jefus is lifted up 
in this word of grace that every fin-flung fiimer among 
you, may look to him by faith, and live for ever. As 
the Ifraelites were to ufe the ferpent lifted up by looking 
to it, as the only ordinance of God for their healing, and 
were neither to ufe falve nor plaifler for the deadly flings 
of the ferpents ; fo you, flung finners, are to ufe a crucifi- 
ed Chrifl, as the only ordinance of God for your eternal life. 
Turn afide then, all and every one of you, and fee this great 
fight : it is not one or two of you we invite, but every in- 
dividual : it is not the poor only, or the rich only, the mo- 
ral only, nor the profane only: it is not the young only, 
nor the old only, nor the middle aged only; but every one 
of you in particular, whethet ye be poor or rich, great or 

the Chrijlians Joy, ' 289 

fmall, holy or profane. Our Lord Jefus is not ftraitened 
in his call ; and therefore in his name we invite you all to 
come and fee the Q-reateil fioht that ever the world faw. 
We invite you that are athiefts, you that are ignorant, 
gracelefs, and hypocritical ; you that are lazy and luke- 
warm profclfors ; you that are openly wicked and pro- 
fane ; we pray, we befeech you to come and fee the 
Lord. And to enforce this exhortation, 

I . Confider, that it is both your Jin and m'lfery^ that 
you do not come and fee the Loid. It is your leading fm^ 
the fountahi of all your other fms ; for herein lies the for- 
mal nature of unbelief, that you do not, cannot, will not 
look to 01 u' Lord Jefus, and beiaved: you think you fia 
when you cuiib, fwear, break the Sabbath, and fo youL 
do ; but thefe, and all your other tranfgreffions are no 
fins in comparifon of this ; John xv. 22. If I had not co?ng 
and fpoken unto them^ they had not had fin; but now they have 
no cloke for thtir fin. By your other fins, you only violate 
the law ; but by this, you aot only do fo, but likewife 
night gofpel grace, which is worfl of all. Sin againft the 
gofpel is greater, than fin againfl the law ; becaufe the re- 
\'elation of the gofpel hath more of grace and glory in it, 
and confequently the fin againft it hath more of contempt. 
A fin againft it is died (even times deeper, and will have 
a furnace feven times hotter \ for. If thofe who defpfed 
Alofes law^ died without mercy ^ under two or three wltneffcs ; 
of how ?nuch forer putujhment^ f?all he he thought worthy^ who 
hath troden under foot the Son of God f — As it is your Jin, fo 
it is likewife your ?nfery: your not coming to fee the Lord, 
will procure not a fingle, but a double damnation ; one 
with the moft terrible circumftances, a condemning fen- 
tence with God's mock and laughter under it; Prov. i. 2 ^. 
Turn you at my reproof; behold I will pour out my Spirit upon 
you ; I will make known my words unto you, Becaufe I have 
railed^ and ye refufed ; I have Jl retched out my handy and no 

O o 

290 A Sight of Christ, 

man regarded: I will alfo laugh at your calamity^ and mock 
when your fear corneth, 

2 . Confider, that great advantage will accrue to you 
from a fight of the Lord. The perfon that is favoured 
with this fight gets eternal life by it, and flipll never come 
Into condemnation^ but is paffed from death to life. Sirs, ye 
are naturally in a ftate of death, and liable to die eternal- 
ly : but come and fee the Lord, and ye fhall get life, legal 
and moral, a life of grace and of glory ; for, This is the re- 
cord ofGod^ that he hath given to us eternal life, Chrift is al- 
ready given to you all as loft finners; come and fee him, 
and you fliall have eternal life in pofleflion ; for, // is life e- 
ternal to know God and Jefus Chrijl whom he hathfent f Here 
is life for whofoever will come and take it; and what more 
fweet, what more neceifary than life, to fuch as are in dan- 
ger of lofing it I Here is eternal life, for whofoever will 
come and fee the Lord ; and, O what a motive is this ! E- 
ternal life is a big, a pregnant word ; there is more in it 
than our fcanty thoughts can comprehend : there is in it all 
that redeeming love canbeftow; all that the precious blood 
of Chrift could purchafe ; all that the everlafting covenant 
bequeathes ; and all that is in it may be yours by a look of 
our Lord Jefus. 

3. Conlider the excellency of the objecl, the Lord. — 
O how excellent is he in his perfon ! The bright ?iefs of the 
Father^ s glory ^ and exprefs image of his perfon : excellent in 
his natures ; • in his divine nature, poifeii'ed of infinite ex- 
cellency, which angels admire and adore, but cannot com- 
prehend ; excellent in his liuman nature, having received 
the Spirit above meafure. — He is excellent in his offices ; an 
excellent prophet, who not only gives the leflbn, but the 
capacity to learn it ; Then opened he their under/landings that 
they might underfland the fcriptures ; a great and excellent 
high prieft, being one not only without blemifh before the 
world, but before God. — Excellent in his offerings both as 
to matter and efficacy: as to inattcr ; other priefts offered 

the Chriftiatis Joy. 291 

the blood of bulls and goats ; but he his own blood: in Its 
efficacy ; other facrifices could never take away fin, where- 
as the blood of Jefus Chrift bis Son, clean feth us from all fin : 
he is excellent in his kingly oflice, Zech. ix. 9. Rejoice 
(rreatly, daughter of Zion ; fhout, O daughter of Jerufalem ; 
behold ihy King comet h unto thee: he is juj}^ and havingfalva- 
tion ; lowly ^ and riding upon an afs, and upon a colt^ the fole 
of an afs, — But, O what ihall I fay of his excellency! It 
is a my fiery that muft be referved for eternity to unfold ; 
when ye will be made to fay with the queen of Sheba, 
I Kings X. 6. // was a true report that I heard in mine own 
land, of thy aBs, and of thy wifdom : howbeit, I believed not 
the words, until I came, and mine eyes hadfeen it ; and be- 
hold, the half was not told me, 

4 . Coniider how willing our Lord is that ye fhould fee 
him : he defires to be looked upon, if we will take his 
word for it; Ifa. Ixv. i. / am fought of them that afhed not 
for me ; I am found of them that fought me not: I faid. Be- 
hold me, behold 7?ie, unto a nation that was not called by my 
name. Look to him in his word, and ye will fee falvation 
in his heart and eye ; and falvation will dart in upon your 
foul. But perhaps fome may fay. If he be fo willing we 
fhould fee him, why does he not difplay his glory, and 
give all men eyes to fee him ? I anfwer, that though this 
cavil favours of a proud deviliih heart, yet fomeching may 
be faid to flop it : fuch as, 

It is a wonder of g' ace and mercy if he does it to any, 
as all who have feen him will own ; John xiv. 22. Lord, 
how is it that thou wilt manifeft thy f elf to us, and 7ict unto 
the worlds And, indeed, it were a better iign if ye were 
wondering that ever free grace granted this privilege to 
any of the human race, than to repme that it paffeth by . 
fo many. 

But, at fuch as cavil thus I would afk, would ye ha^^e a 
fight of the Lord ? Have you turned his gracious in\ itati- 
ons and promifes into an earnefl prayer? And when he fays, 

O o 2 

!292 A Sight of Christ J 

Look to me J have ye faid from the heart Lord, Look on me? 
Muft not that man be both wicked and unreafonable, who 
quarrels with God, for not giving the grace he himfelf is 
unwilHng to receive, carelefs to alk, and oppofes with 
might and main? But nothing will ftop the mouths of fuch 
perfons, but either a gracious fight of Chrift in this life, or 
a fight of him at the laft davt 

5. Confider, that a fight of the Lord is ahfolutely yieccf- 
Jary for you ; John xvii. 3 . Tbh is life eternal^ that they 

might know thee the only true God^ and jefus ChriJ} whom thou 
haft fent. There is no coming to eternal life without this 
iight ; ye mufi: know him partially here, before you can 
knov/ him fully hereafter: ye muft be infants in a fi:ate 
of grace, before ye can attain the meafure of perfed men 
in Chrifi: Jefus : it is not poiTible for any now to become 
a grown man, who was not firft an infant. A fight of 
.Chrift, as revealed in the word, is the infancy of the glo- 
rious and immediate fio^ht of him in heaven. Children 
in fchools begin at the Rudiments, and are not at firft ad- 
vanced to the highefi: clafs ; fo, be not deceived, ye can- 
not be promoted to the high clafs of angels, and glorified 
faints, if ye do not begin at the liudiments here, by fee- 
ing him in a way of believing. Grace is a necefiary pre- 
parative for glory ; and faith for fight : yea, it is not only 
iieceffary to glory, but it is necefiary to all grace : ye mull 
fee him before ye can love him ; for love is of a known 
good: ye mufi: fee him before ye can pray aright; for 
prayer is only to a known God through a known Mediator^ 

6. Confider, that a fight of him is prefently necefiary 
- for you ; and therefore, Whatfoever thy hand Jindeth to doy 

do it with thy might ; for there is no work^ nor -device^ nor 
knowledge^ nor wifdom in the grave whether thou goeft. When 
thou dieft, thy condition will be like th ^^law of the Medes 
and Perfians, unalterable. If a man die, fhall he live a^ 
gain? no: God will never trufl: thee with a fecond life; 
he will not offer a Chrift, grace, and heaven, when thou 

the Chrijlians Joy. 293 

art once landed in the other world : if thou failefl now, thou 
failed for ever: if thou trifleft now, thou art undone for 
ever. Lay your hands therefore to your hearts, and tell me 
whether ye are refolved to come and fee the Lord or not? 
\\' )-e are refolved againft it, and faying, / have loved Jlran- 
gc'f'Sy and after them I will go^ we cannot help it ; only 
know that a fight of the Lord has been in your ofter, and 
ye nuift anfwcr for the refufal of it : if ye dare not be pe- 
remptory that ye will not come and fee the Lord, then 
be peremptory that ye will come and fee him ; for your 
coming is fo required, that it Vv^ill admit of no excufe ; 
To DAY if ye will bear bis voice: and if you would come 
and fee the Lord you have now an opportunity. The 
Ma(l:er himfelf is come and callethfor thee: come therefore 
and fee bim who lay from eternity in the bofom of the 
Father; — bim who lay in the manger, and was born like 
one of us ; — bi?n who was the man of forrows and acquaint- 
ed with grief, that your joy might be full; — bi?n who made 
his foul an offering for fm, and who bore away the curfc 
from vou ; and bim who is the Lamb in the midft of the 
throne, ftill clothed with a garment dipt in blood: be- 
hold him through this glafs. Such a fight is the begin- 
ning of heaven, a prelude of the full vifion of God and 
of the I^amb ; — then fliall ye be glad for ever ivhen you fee 
tbe Lord^ no more darkly as tbrougb a glafs ^ hut face fa 
face. If you have then got fuch a fight of the Lord, we 
muft congratulate you in the words of the angel to Mary, 
Hail! bleffed art tboii among men or women. The Lord is 
with thee, and will be with thee. The Lord blefs thee, 
and keep thee ; the Lord make his face to fJnne upon thee^ and 
he gracious to thee ; the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee^ 
find give thee peace. 

[ 294 1 

Christ crucified^, recommended as 
the Matter of Gofpel-preaching. * 

I Cor. i. 23, 24. 

But *we preach Chrijl crucifed, unto the Jeivs a Jlum^ 
bling'block^ mid unto the Greeks foolijhnefs ; but unto 
them ijuhich are called^ both Jeuus and Greeks ^ Chrijl 
the poiver of God, and the uuifdom of God, 

' I ^ H E apoftle Paul having planted a church at Corinth, 
an eminent city in Achaia ; and being informed that 
Satan had attempted, by feveral means, to corrupt and rend 
it, writes this epiflle to the Corinthians, in order to pre- 
vent the fuccefs of thefe helHfli plots. 

In this chapter, after his infcription and apoftolical fa- 
lutation, he congratulates the Corinthians for the excellent 
gifts and graces bellowed on them , by the Author of every 
good and perfect gift ; but, at the fame time, mentions 
their woful divifions, exhorts them to peace and unity by 
the moil cogent arguments, gives them a fummary ac- 
count of the prejudices which both Jews and Gentiles en- 
tertained againll the doclrine of a crucified Chrifl ; as alfo 
of the very different opinion of all true believers concern- 
ing him ; and teaches them, that the fimplicity of the 
gofpel is to be preferred to all the wifdom of the world. 

In the verfe immediately preceding our text, he takes 
notice of two evils, one of which prevailed among the 
Jews, and the other among the Gentiles; and kept both 
from giving a fuitable reception to a crucified Chrifl. The 
Jews, fays he, require afign^ and the Greeks feek after wif- 

* This Sermon was preached before the Affociate Synod, at 
Glasgow, May 1759, 

Christ crucified, (^c. i^S 

dom. The Jews, before they would believe, required fuch 
figns and wonders as would affecl the vifiblc frame of na- 
ture, like thcfe which Mofes wrought to convince their 
anceftors of the divinity of his miffion ; not adverting, 
that the miracles wrought by our Lord Jefus, exceeded, 
on many accounts, Mofes's miracles ; and were far more 
agreeable to the difpenfation of grace, whereof he was the 
Author ; for Mofes*s miracles were for the moll part fuite4 
to fill mens minds with horror and coniternation, the ef- 
fects being evil and deilructive : whereas the mighty works 
of our Lord Jefus were evidently effecls of goodncfs, as 
well as of power, tending to the benefit and comfort of 
mankind ; and fo were fit credentials of a gracious mini- 
ftry bringing in peace, life, and falvation, fuch as the MelTi- 
ah*s was promifed to be. — As for the Greeks, they fought 
after the demonftration of all things from natural caufes 
and rational arguftients ; and defpifed ev^ery doclrine which 
could not be thus demonftrated to them. But did Paul, 
and the reft of the apoftles, humour either of them ? Did 
they work figns and wonders to convince the Jews? Did 
they demonftrate the truths they taught from natural 
caufes, or by the arguings of natural reafon, in order to 
convince the Gentiles ? No : the apoftle declares the con- 
trary, in the words of our text ; — But we preach Chrift cm- 
dfiedy Szc, " We who are the minifters of Chrift come and 
preach to men that there was one who expired on a crofs 
at Jerufalem, who is the fent of God and Saviour of the 
world, and that whoever of the human race will venture 
their falvation into his hands, they fhall have the favour 
of God and eternal life. The Jews indeed are ftumbled 
at this, looking for a Mefilah that Ihould be a great tem- 
poral Saviour, and reckoning it a difgrace to believe on 
one as their Saviour whom they had lately taken, and with 
wicked hands had crucified andjlain ; and the learned Greeks 
look on it as a foolifh idle ftory, that he who is God over all 
fliould be crUcCijied'j and that people fliould look for life 

296 ChrisI' Crucified f recommended 

from one who had loil his own. Yet lb many as are ef- 
fedually called, whether Jews or Greeks look upon it, 
and acknowledge it to be a demonftration of the power of 
God far exceeding all miracles which the Jews feek after, 
and a demonftradon of the wifdom of God, far exceeding 
all that earthly wifdom the Gentiles feek after." We preach 
Chrijl crucified^ &c. — In which words you may obferve, 

I/?, The great hufinefs of gofpel-minifters : It is to 
preach Ch^'ifl crucified. Our Lord Jefus, as the judicious 
Durham obferves, ftands in a fourfold -relation to preach- 


1 . He is the text* , All preaching is to explain him ; 
Acls X. 4 3 . ^0 him give all the prophets w'ltnefs : and fo do 
all the four evangelifts in their gofpels, and the different 
apoftles in their epiftles, which are jufl fo many preachings 
concerning him : that fermon which flandeth not in rela- 
tion to him, is befide the text. 

2. He is held out as the ground-zvork and foundation of 
preaching; fo that preaching without him is preaching 
without a foundation, or building a caftle in the air: 
I Cor. iii. 10. / have laid the found at wUy and another buildeth 
thereon ; but let every man take heed hozo he buildeth there- 
upon : for other foinidation can no man lay than that is laidy 
which is Chrifi Jefus. 

3 . He is the great end of preaching ;- — that he may be 
jcnown in the judgments, and loved with the hearts of 
juen : 2 Cor. iii. 4. We preach not ourfehes^ but Chrifi Je- 
fus the Lord, And, 

4. He is the life And power of preaching, without whom 
it can never be effeclual : Chrift crucified, is the power oj 
Qod. — The word here rendered preachy has an allulion to 
thofe heralds who were wont, with an open and loud voice, 
to proclaim the edicls of magiftrates ; and indeed minifters 
are, by office, criers of a crucified Chrift: hence the pro- 
phet Ifaiah is commanded to lift up his voice like a trumpet ; 
and of John the Baptift it is faid, he was the voice of one 

as the Matter of Gofpel-pre aching. 297 

crying In the ivildemefs. A crucified Chrift is the minifter's 
fubjecl, and to make him known is his duty; and if he 
be faitliful, will be his fludy. So runs his commiffion. 
Go pre.iLh the gofpel to every creature. It is not a minifter's 
work to convert men to Chrift, but to publifh and pro- 
claim him ; and it is upon the peril of the hearers, if they 
do not embrace him. — In our day, minifters have got cri- 
tics to preach to; and one cenfure very often paiTed is, that 
the preacher was beiide his text: but he is never befide 
his fubjecl, as long as it is a crucified Chrifi. We preach 
Chr'ifl crucified, 

idly. In the words we have the entertainment glv^en by 
hearers to the minifter's fubjecl, and that both good and 
bad, difcouraging and encouraging : he is to the Jews a 
Jlumhring-hkck^ and to the Greeks fsolijlrnefs ; but to 
them who believe, he is the ivifdom of God and t\\t pcwer 
of God, A crucified Chrifl is a very great myftery; and 
the efFccls of preaching him are likewife myfterious. He 
is prcpofed in the fame way, at the fame time, to fundry 
perfons, in the fame circumftances, and all equally con- 
cerned in the propofal : yet they do not all give him the 
fame entertainment. To fome he is a ftumhlin? -block and 
fcclijhnefs ; to others he is the isjifdom and the power of God. 
Of necelikv he muil be either the one or the other to e- 
very gofpel hearer, there being no middle betwixt thefe 
two. More particularly, we have here, 

r. 1 he bad entertainment given him, which is ready to 
difcourage miniflers in preaching him, and to make them, 
fay, that they will not fpeak any more in his name y he 
is 2. flumMing-block :mdfoclifIjnefs^ 

(i.) He is to the Jews 2i fumbling-hlock. It was a great 
promife concerning a crucified Chriil, as he was to be 
given to the church, that God would lay him in Zion for 
a foundation^ a ftone^ a tried ftone^ a precious corner-ftone^ 
whereon he that believeth fhall not make hafle : But, at the 
fame time, it was foretold concerning him, that he would 

p p 

298 Christ Cnicifcd^ recommended 

occafionaily be for -^ (lone of j} ambling and a rock of offence to 
both the hoiifes of Ifrael^ for a gin and for a fnare ; fo that 
many among k\\z\\\ fuould fumble^ and fall^ and be brokeny 
and fncired^ and taken : and ib hath it fallen aut in all ages 
of the church. He ii to the l^ews a lliimblin<y-block. Two 
things are implied in the exprefiion here ufed. — I'hat they 
w'tYc offended with a crucified (Ihrift: thev looked for a 
Melliah who would give them outward liberty ^ wealth, eafe, 
and dominion ; and therefore they were difpleafed with a 
fpiritual Redeemer, a crucified Chrifl. — And alfo that they 
were ruined by their offence at him ; as when a man dailies 
upon a rock, the rock ftands (till, but the man is hurt. 
'I'he foul that fubmits to a crucified Chrift is faved by him ; 
the foul who rebels againft him is fure to perifli. O the 
power and malignant nature of unbelief? It is fuch tliat it 
can alter the nature of things, and make Chrift himfelf, 
who is nothin«;' but q-ood, an occafion of the «reateft evil. 
As nothin!:^ is fo evil but the God of infinite wifdom and 
i>:oodnefs can brino; 2:ood out of it ; fo there is nothina: fo 
good, but the fin of mxan can make it prove hurtful to 
liim, even Cmrist to be '\ flambiing-block. 

(2.) He is alfo to the Gentiles ^^//./Zv/o'}. This doctrine 
they defpife as abfurd and fooliih, as being repugnant to 
the dictates of tlieir ihallow rcafon, and vain philofophy : 
And tints profflin<^ themfelves to be wife they became fools, 

1 . In the words we have the (rood entertainment Piven to 
ClTrill crucified : — To them that are called^ efiecluall)^ called 
by the power of divine grace, and fo have their eyes o- 
pened to conceive aright of him ; He is the wifdom and the 
fower of God, - AVe are not to underftand thefe expreili- 
ons merely of what Chrift is effentiallv as God, or as the 
Son of God ; but in his peiibn as God-man Mediator, pro- 
pofed in the gofpel. In his perfon indeed he is the eifen- 
tial image, but as God-man Mediator, he is the reprefen- 
tative image of God. He is the viiible image of the in- 
vifible God, of the wifdom and power of God \ yea, he is 

as the Matter of Go fpel-pre aching, 299 

the complete image and perfect reprcfentation of all the 
divine excellencies : fo that by the f ime reafon that he is 
called the ivifdoju and pozvcr^ be may be entitled the truth 
of God ; accordinojy he is called the Amen. — And as he is 
the power of God and the wiidom of God in himfelf ; fo 
he likewile appears to believers. — In the glafs of the goipel; 
they do not only fee the infniite mercy and grace of God, 
but alfo his infinite power and wifdom notably difplayed 
in the ceconomy of onr redemption by him. 

The doclrine which I propofe to handle is much the 
fame with the words of the text, viz. 

That as it is the duty, fo it will be the exerclfe of 
every faithful minifter to preach Chrift crucified, who 
is to fome gofpel-hearers, -^ijlinnb ling- block -^ndfoolijhnefs; 
to others, t\\& power cfGod, and the ivijdom ofGodV 

Our divifion of the text points out a proper method, 
in which I intend to handle this doclrine, which is, 

I. To confider the faithful minifter's duty, endeavour, 
and ftudy ; — to preach Chrifl crucified. 

II. The entertainment given by gofpel-hearers to the 
minifter's fubjecl; — to fome Chriil is a llumhlmg-block 
and foUflniefs ; to others, the power of God and the 
wifdom of God. 

III. Apply the fubjed. 

I. I am firft to confider tlie fiithful minifler's duty and 

fludy^ which is to preach Chrift crucified. And here 1 ihall, 

I. Explain a little the faitiiful minifler's yi^/;/Vr7; and, 2. 

Enquire in what manner he ought to preach upon this 


iy?5 I propofed firfl to explain a little the'gofpel mini- 
fter 's y^^y^^? ; Christ crucified. And under this may 
be comprehended the following particulars. 

I. God's inverition of a crucified Chrift. The faithful 
tninifter is to preach that infinite wifdom, animated by in- 

P p 2 

300 Christ Crucified^ recommended 

finite love, though God ftood in no need of man, though 
man's nature was defpicable, and his crimes deteftable, 
devifed means that his baniilicd lliould not be for ever 
expelled from his prefcnce ; and hence does he £iy, Job 
xxxiii. 24. Deliver from going down to the pit^ I have found 
a ravfom, — That when all finite underftandings would 
have been non-pluifed at the deplorable cafe of fallen man ; 
and neither angels nor men could have llarted a thought 
touching a remedy, the great God, who is never at a lofs, 
found, in his ovyn bofom, a ranfom for fallen man; while 
fallen angels, who were more honourable, and would have 
been more ferviceable, were pafled by, and left as exiles 
to inhabit outer darknefs for ever. 

2. It is the dutv, and will be the concern of a faithful 
minifter to preach the undertaking of Chrill: : — that though 
there lay no obligations on the Son of God to undertake 
the work cf pur redemption, at any rate, far lefs to fub- 
mit to the hard terms which law and juftice required tcf 
be fulfilled ; yet, no fooner was it moved in the council 
of peace, that fallen man fhould be delivered, and that 
fince a finite perfon could not eiTecluate his deliverance, 
an infinite one Ihould do it, even the fecond perfon of the 
glorious Trinity, than he chearfully engaged to perform 
it, and that in fuch a manner as will be the everlailing 
wonder of men and angels. Sacrifice and offering thou 
nvouldefl not ; — then faid /, Lo^ 1 come. And well might he 
prefix a behold to it ; for it was a gloriou3 fpeclacle to 
God, angels, and men : — to God^ as it v/as filled with the 
highefi: efieds of infinite goodnefs, wifdom, and grace, 
V^hich all ihone forth in their greatell fplendor, and were 
glorified therein : — to angels^ as herein they have a new 
and mofi: ravifhing difcovery of divine wonders; For now 
unto the priricipalities and powers^ is made know)! by the 
church the manifold wifdom of God ; and into thefe things the 
angels defire to look : — to eletl men^ as that OH which the 
whole of their falvation depended. 

as the Matter of Gofpel-preaching. 301 

q. It is the duty, and will be the concern of every 
futhfiil mlniller to preach the covenant entered into with 
our Lord Jefus Chrift. 'That in confequencc oF the Fa- 
ther'^ propofal, and his undertaking, there was a fpeclal 
covenant, or mutual agreement, made betwixt God, ef- 
lentialiy confidered in tlie perion of the Father, and Chriil 
as the head and reprefentative of an elecft company, ac- 
cording to fcveral places of fcripture, particularly, Ifa. liii. 
10. When thou /halt make bis foul an off ering for ftn^ he fhall 
fee his feed ^ he fhall prolong his days^ and the pleafure of the 
Lord Jh all profper in his hand* Gal. iii. 1(5. Now to Abra- 
ham and his feed ijuere the promifes made ; he faith not^ and 
to feeds ^ as of many ^ but as of one ; and to thy feed^ which 
is Chrifl, — God forefeeing that man, by his fall, would 
render himfelf incapable of life by the covenant of works, 
propofcd to our divine Redeemer, as fecond Adam, the 
covenant of grace for life and faivation to the elecl, in the 
full tenor, promife, and condition thereof: and that our 
Redeemer, as fecond Adam, confented thereto upon the 
terms therein propofed, engaging to fulfil the fame for an 
elecl company ; and fo the covenant was fully concluded 
from eternity. Titus i. 2 . hi hope of eternal life^ zuhicb 
God that cannot lie promifed^ before the world bega?i. 

It \w\\\ be the gofpel minifter*s iludy, not only to 
preach the covenant made with ChriJ}^ but to preach a 
crucified Chrift as the covenant itfelf ; Ifa. xiii. 6. I will 
give thee for a covenant of the people : — That he is the cove- 
nant originally and fundamentally; the root from which 
it fprings, and the foundation on which it ftands ; Behold^ 
I lay in Zion for a foundation, a ftonc, a tried fone : — That 
he is the covenant relatively, in refpect of the manifold 
relations he ftands in to it, as the Mediator of the cove- 
nant, the day's-man who lays his hands upon both, for 
compofing the differences between them; Heb. xii. 24. 
Te are come — to Jefus the Mediator of the new covenant, — 
He is the teJJatcr of the cover.ant, v/ho hath confirmed it 

302 Christ Cmclfied^ recommended 

by his blood, and turned it into a tellamenlary form, and 
fo it becomes to us a conveyance of grace and liberality, 
without any condition whatever; Heb. ix. i6. For where 
a tefl anient /j, there mujl of necejjity he the death of the tefla- 
tor, — He is the witnefs of the covenant, to atteft it to the 
fons of men. The covenant includes in it fuch infinite 
grace-, that finners know not how to believe it. Objec- 
tions that arife in their minds againft it are able to fliake 
the credit of anv ancrel in heaven: and therefore God 
would have our Redeemer to atteft it: Ifa. Iv. 4. Behold 
I have given him for a witnefs of the people, — He is the mef- 
fenger of the covenant, who brought the tidings of it from 
heaven to earth, and who made a full revelation of it to 
the fons of men ; Mai. iii. i . "The meffeng^er of the covenant 
whom ye delight in, — He is the furety of the covenant ; Heb. 
j' vii. 22. By fo much was Jefiis made the furety of a better 

tefiament, — That he is the covenant eminently^ being him- 
felf the firft and s^reateft of all new-covenant bleilinors: 
hence he is called the gift of God^ as if God had never given 
another : If thou knewefl the gift of God, — That he is the 
covenant comprehenfvvely ; the whole of it being fummed 
up in him. All the parties of it are in him: God the 
party contractor on lieaven's fide ; for God was in Chri/l, 
reconciling- the world unto him ft If 2 Cor. v. 19. He him- 
felf is the party contractor on earth's fide ; and an elect 
company arc all in him legally, as he is their repreferita- 
tive. — He is the fum of the condition of it, being the Lord 
our right coufiefs. He is the fum of alf the properties of it. 
— Is it "x free and gratuitous covenant? Its frcencfs is com- 
prized in him, being the gift of God; for, Crod fo loved 
the world that he gave his only begotten Son^ that whofoever 
hcUeveth on him fJjould not perifh but have everlajling life, — 
Is it an everlafling covenant? The eternity of it is com- 
prized in him ; yea, it hath its eternity from him who 
wasy^/ up from everlafling, — Is it a holy covenant? The ho- 
linefs of it is comprized in him, who is the holy One of 

as the Matter of Gofpel- pre aching. 303 

Jfrael. — Is it a well-ordered covenant? This property is 
comprized in him in whom God comes down to men with 
the Hifety of his honour, and men go up to God with the 
lafety of their fouls. — Is it -i ft able 2Si<\fure covenant? Its 
ftabiUty is comprized in him w^ho is the fame yefterday^ to- 
\lay^ and for e-jer. — Is it d. foul-fat isfyiug covenant? This 
cjuahty is comprized in him who is all our fahation and all 
our defre. — Mc is the fum of all the promfes in the cove- 
nant ; for. In bird all the promfes of God are yea, and amen. 
— He is the fum of all the privileges of it ; and hence 
when God has given Chriif, he reckons he has performed 
the whole covenant ; Luke i. 7 9 . T^o perform the mercy pro- 
mifedj and remember his holy covenant, — Yea, he is all and 
in all of the covenant. 

4. It is the duty, and will be the Iludy of a gofpel- 
minifter to preach the -luonderful love of Ch rift to a rem- 
nant of mankind loft ; that his love to them was wonder- 
ful, p^Jf^^^g the love of women, — To fet forth the wonderful- 
nefs of it in refpecl: of its fubjecl, or the lover hhnfelf: con- 
fiderins: his excellencv ; the chief excellencies in heaven 
and in earth meeting in his perfon : confidering his glory, 
being glory itfelf the brightnefs of glory, the brightnefs of 
the Father* s glory, and fo of infinite glory : confidering 
his abfolute freedom and independency, which is fuch that 
it was in his free choice whether a creature iliould be made 
or not, and much more whether any fliould be loved or 
not. — That his love is wonderful in refpecl of its objeds^ 
the party beloved ; wdio, as to their rank of being, wej^e 
the loweft among rational creatures -, and as to their qua- 
lities, were enemies in their ?ninds by wicked works. Yet he 
loved them: — loved tbs?n better than his life, who hated 
him to the death; loved them unchangeably, who hated 
h^*m implacably j loved them notwithftanding all manner 
ot provocation, who hated him without acaufe; and loved 
ihem fuperlativdy, who hated him v/ith a perfed: hatred. 
— That it is wonderful in li^forcey bringing about to its 

304 Christ Crucifed, recommended 

objecls julHfication and {lincliScation, holinefs and happi- 
iieis, grace and glory. — That it is wondtrful in its quaii- 
ties : in its a7itiqirify^ being coeval with the being oi God 
himfeli""; / ba've loved tbd^ ^vith an cverla fling; love : in its 
freedom^ which property it pofTelTes in the largeft fenfe, 
being free in oppofition to ali application ; for it is free in 
oppoiicion to merit or motive, there being nothing in man 
to move God to love hhii, unlefs ignorance, filth, and 
deformity might pafs for motives: and free in oppofition 
to condraint ; Lo^ I come, — That it is wonderful in its con- 
defcenfion^ in pitching upon poor contemptible men, in 
prompting Clwiil to humble himfelf fo far in his incarna- 
tion, in the meannefs of his life, and in his death, when 
he made his crave luith the wicked. — That it is wonderful in 


its /over eig/ify^ in making a difference between fallen men 
and fallen angels ; and between one man and another in 
equal circumftances : as between Jacob and E£iu both 
children of the fame parents, and who lay at once in the 
fame womb ; yet Jacob have I loved^ and Efau have I hated : 
betwixt Peter and Judas, w^io w^re both in the college 
of the apoftles, and guilty of heinous crimes ; the one de- 
nying, and the other betraying his Mafter ; and yet the 
one is ftill numbered with the difciples, w^hile the other is 
numbered with the damned in hell: and the two thieves 
on the crofs, whofe crimes had brought them to an un- 
timely end, and yet the one falls into the arms of mercy, 
and the other into the hands of iuftice. — That it is won- 
derful in its experjlvenefs^ immidability, and eternal duratio^i, 
5 . It is the duty, and will be the fludy of gofpel-mi- 
nifler's to preach a crucified Chrill: in his per/on and natures. 
— That he is the fecond perfon in the glorious Trinity, 
the one fiipr erne mojl high God w^ith the Father and the Holy 
Ghoil, in oppofition to blafphemous Arians, who wx')uld 
obtrude an inferior, who mufl be a created God upon us, 
and thus overturn the foundation of our falvation, by 
taking away tiie iniSnite dignity of his perfon, whereupon 

as the Matter of Gofpd- pre aching. 30^" 

tlie efiicacy of Lis f:ici ifice depends. This is rittcmpted in 
direcl contrariety to the whole current of flicred writ, 
which holds foith our CbriJ} as (ioD in the flriclcll fcnfe; 
caliini^- him the h la^ God. the Iivi?i{r God, the (rreat God our 
Saviour ; yea, Gvd ovar all bleffed for ever. — That l\e is like- 
wile true rdcm^ made of a wcman^ that he might be allied 
to us, and ib meet to acl: v>w our behalf, but not in the 
wa\^ of ordinary o-eneration, which is the nieans of con- 
veying origmal hn ; for this would have incapacitated him 
for the whole work of mediation, but in an extraordinary 
and miraculous manner, by \A\t powerful operation of the 
Holy Glioil; Luke i. 35. Tije Holy Ghofl JJcall come upon 
thee, and the power of the highefl [hall overfhadozv thee^ where* 
fore alfo that holy thing which Jhall he horn of thee, fJ?all be 
called the Son of Ged : and thus the lord did a nezo thing 
in the earth ; a woman compaffed a man. — That he is God 
and man in one perfon ; a very wonderful perfon indeed ! 
concerning whom the gofpel-miniiler will be concerned to 
preach the ailumption, the union, and the efl'etls of the 
union. T he faithful minlftcr will be cxercifedin preach- 
ing the ajjinnption ; that the divine nature, not fublilling 
in the Father or Spirit, but in the Son, aiTiuned our na- 
ture into a pcrfonal fubfiftcnce with himielf; for. The 

Word was made flejh. l^he golpcl miniftcr \\'\)X preach 

alfo the union, \\ hich is a thing different from the alTiunp- 
tion ; the one rcfpecling the acting of the divine nature, 
and the pailion of the human ; the other, the mutual re- 
lation of the natures to each other: hence wx may fafely 
fiiy, the divine nature was united to the human, as well 
as the human unto tlie divine ; but we cannot fay the di- 
vine was affumed, as the human was. — That the nnion is 
real ; whence the fame perfon is called the mighty God.^ and 
the child born, which is neither conceivable, nor poiTible, 
nor true, but bv a real union betwixt the divine and 
human natures, in the perfon of Chrift. — That it is a my^ 
Jiericus union, wherein heaven and earth have met, and 

C) q 

3o6 Christ Crucifed, recommended 

kilTed one another ; Without controverfy great is the wyjlery 
of godllnefs^ God was manifejl in the flejh. — That it is a perfo- 
nal union, and yet not an union of perfons ; for our Lord 
took the nature of man, but not the perfon of man: for if 
he had taken the perfon of man, the obedience he perform- 
ed would not have been of infinite value, nor accepted of 
God as a fufliclent ranfom for our fouls. — -That it is an 
union of natures^ remaining foil diilinct, though not a 
natural union ; that though the union be pcrfonal and in- 
timate, yet both natures are preferved from confufion and 
commutation ; the human nature being ilill created, finite, 
and viiible ; the divine nature, uncreated, infinite, and 
invifible : hence he is faid to be, cf the fathers^ as con- 
cerning the fiefh ; and yet God over all. — That it is an in- 
divifthle union ; fo that the Son of God will never lay afide 
the afiTumed manhood, nor fhall the human nature be fe- 
vered from the perfon, vi^hile God and eternity lafl ; hence 
it is faid, The fulnefs of the Godhead dwells in him bodily : 
it does not lodge in him, as a traveller in an inn for a 

night; but dwells in him as a fixed habitation. The 

faithful gofpel-minifter ought alfo to declare the ej^ecls of 
this union : that by this means he was properly qualified 
for finiflniig the work the Father gave him to do : that 
his obedience and death were in the fiime nature that fin- 
ned, and therefore fuch as the law required; and at the 
lame time infinitely meritorious. 

6. It is the duty and will be the concern of the gofpel- 
minifter to preach up a crucified Chrift's difcharge of his 
mediatory v/ork, — That upon the conflitution of his me- 
diatorial perfon (I fay, his mediatorial perfon ; for v/hen 
we fpcak of the conflitution of his perfon, we intend not 
his perfon abfolutely, as he is the etern:^l Son of God, for 
his being fo was not a voluntary contrivance, or effect of 
infinite wiidom and goodnefs, but a neceffary internal act 
of the divine nature in the perfon of the Father) in the 
fulnefs of time, he began to difcharge the work he had 

as the Matter of Gofpel-pre aching. 307 

undertaken from eternity, in the room and llead of an 
elecl company ; that whereas the law, as a covenant, re- 
quired two things from them, obedience as they are rati- 
onal creatures, and fufl'ering as they are finners ; he yield- 
ed up his human nature both ways, in doing and fuffer- 
ing : Eph. v. 2 . And walk In love^ as Cbr'ifl alfo loved us^ and 
bath given hinifelf for us^ an o^eruig and a facrifice to God 
for a fweet-fmelling favour. 

And the minilter of Chrift will endeavour to fej: forth 
the glory of both ; the glory of his active obedience to 
the law's precept, in the fpring of it, viz, freedom ; that 
though we obey, becaufe we ought, before we obey be- 
caufe we will ; yet our Redeemer obeyed becaufe he would^ 
before he obeyed becaufe he ought ; Lo^ I come, — The end 
of it ; that it was not for himfelf, but for us, who were 
bound to yield perfect obedience, but could not by reafon 
of lin ; Gal. iv. 5 . God fent forth his Son^ inadc of a ivoman^ 
made under the laiVy to redeem them that were under the law^ 
that we might receive the adoption offons, — In the univerfa- 
lity 'jLiidi perfedion of it^ that whatever the lavv^ demanded 
from them, he fulfilled according to his own word; Thus 
it hecometh us to fulfil all rhjhieoufnefs : that his obedience 
was a fair commentary on the whole law, written in the 
glorious characters of holinefs and righteoufnefs all the 
days of his life ; for he was obedient even unto death. — In the 
value of it, which is infinite, becaufe of the infinite dignity 
of the perfon obeying ; and fo that he did not only fulfil 
the law, but added a new luftrc and glory to it, which it 
never had before ; He magnified the law and made it honourable. 

The gofpel-minifter will alfo fet forth the glory of Chriil's 
PASSIVE obedience, in the fpring and impulfive caufe, his 
OWN LOVE, which made him come in the way of juftice ; 
He LOVED me^ and gave himfelf for me, — In the procuring 
caufe thereof, viz, our iniquities ; that it was the fin of 
man which flew the Son of God, Ifa. liii. 5. He was 
wounded for our tranfgrejfions^ he was bruifed for our iniqui- 

3o8 ' Christ Crucified^ recommended 

ties ; the chafiijement of our peace was tipon him^ and by bis 
J}ripes we are healed. — In the qiuuit'ies thereof; that his 
filtering >'as voluntary ; that tiie Lamb of God did not 
ilruggle when he was led to the fUughtcr, but did bear 
his ov/n crofs, and was the prieil as well as the iacrilice. 
• — In that hi.^ fufferini^ was very bilUi. he beinp; hke corn 
grinded in the mill, or grapes iqaeezed-ia the wine-prefs 
of his Father's wrath ; for, ft pleafcd the Lord to hruife him* 
•—In that it was unherfal, as he fufiered in both rtatures ; 
truly and properly in Iiis human nature ; and as to his 
divine nature, its glory was eclipfed for a time: he fulTer- 
cd iikewife in all his offices : beuig mocked, as a prophet; 
defpifcd, as a priefl ; and infulted, as a king: and as we 
had iinned both in ovir fouls and bodies, he fullered in all 
the powers of his foul and members of his body ; tho' the 
fuficrings of his foul were the foul of his fuflerings : more- 
over, he fuffered from all hands ; from men on earth, 
devils in hell, and, which was worft of all, from his Fa- 
ther, who being offended to the highefl with our ifins, 
fmote him, and hid his face from him, which made him 
cry out upon the crois, My God^ my God! why bajl thou 
forfaken mef — In fine, his futferings were of /ong duration ; 
his v/hole life, from the manger to the crois, from the 
flable to Golgotha, being a continual paflion •, hence he is 
faid to be a ?nan of for rows, and acquainted with griefs. — • 
The end of his fufferings is likevvifc to be pointed out; 
that it was for us : not .only for our ^ood, but in our 
fie ad : Chrifl our pa ff over is facrifccd for us. — And finally, 
t\\^ efficacy thereof, for reaching this end, which is found-^ 
cd on the dionitv of the perfon fuffcrino:. 

7. It is the duty and will be the ftudy of a gofpel-mi-. 
nifter to preach the offices of Chriil : That our Lord Jefus 
is vefted with three oniccs, of prophet, prieft, and king. 
And to fet forth thefe offices in their nature and nece-Tity, 
diilinclion and conjunclion, their relation^ completenefsa 
' pvder, and perpetuity. 


as the Matter of Gofpel-preachlng, 309 

In tlicir nature ; that as a prophet he pabliflicth and de- 
clan th the wi;ole council of God to Tinners of mankind, 
Luke i. 7y. To (rhe li^bt to them that fit in darkncf^s^ and in 
the ) e<^ion and /hadozv of death: and worketh the effeclual 
knowlcdoe of God and of his will in the hearts of the men 


given unto him; i John v. 20. ]Ve know that the Son of 
man is come^ and hath given us an underflanding that we 
may know him that is true : and ever after inilrucls them 
more' and more as his own difciples ; For the fecret of the 
Lord is with theju that fear him, — That as a prieft^ he of- 
fered up a faerifice fuilicient in itfelf to atone for the fins 
of the whole world, had it been fo intended, and which 
h.'X\^ perfeded for ever them that are fandified : and that on 
this ground he makes intercedion for them, by appearing 
in their natrne continually before the Father in heaven, 
declaring his will to have his faerifice applied to them, 
anfwering all accuilitions againft them; procuring for them 
quiet of confcience, notwithftanding of their daily failures ; 
accefs with boldnefs to the throne of g^race ; and the ac- 
ceptance of their perfons and fervices. — That as a king he 
gives olllcers and ordinances to his church, makes his royal 
proclamation unto the world, bearing, that whofoever will 
may come and unite with him ; and that whofoever cometk 
he will in no wife cafl them out : effectually fubdues his peo- 
ple unto himfelf by the rod of his ftrength ; rules and de- 
fends them ; reflrains and conquers all his and their enemies. 

The minifler of Chrift is likewife to point out to his 
hearers the neceffity of thefe oflices, arifmg from the evils 
under which we were lying ; the darknefs of lin, which 
required that he fhould be a prophet ; the guilt of fin, 
which made his prieflhood neceffary ; and the enmity and 
power of fin, which rendered his kingly office indifpenfible. 

The dijlindion and conjunction of thefe oflices mufl like- 
wife be declared ; that as they are diflinclly afligned to 
Chrifl:, fo they are diflind among themfelves ; and where 
there is an affinity between them, or any feeming cninci- 

31 o Christ Crucified^ recommended 

dence in their actings, it rather is betwixt the kingly and 
prophetical, than betwixt either of thefe and the prieftly : 
for the nature of the two firft requires that the object of 
their exercife be men ; whereas the nature of the prieftly 
requires that its objeci: be God: in the former, he acts in 
the name of God, and for God towards men ; but in the 
prieftly, he acls in the name of men, and for men with 
God: For every h'lgh-friefl is ordained for men in things 
PERTAINING TO GoD. — That though thefe oftices were al- 
ways before vefted in different perfons, yet they all meet 
in his perfon^ and arc fweetly interwoven one with another, 
fo that he is a royal prieft, a prieftly prophet, and prophe- 
tical king ; or, in the words of holy writ, a prieft upon his 
throne ; the atoflle and bigh-priej} of our profefjion. 

The relation thefe offices bear to us is likewiie to be fet 
forth ; that they are wholly for us ; that they are not like 
his effential attributes and perfections, the being whereof 
is not for us, but only their acting : he would have been 
infinite and eternal, though he had never made a crea- 
ture ; but he would not have been a prophet, if there had 
not been ignorant finners to inftrucl ; nor a prieft, if there 
had not been guilty linners to atone for; nor a king, if 
there had not been obftinate ftnners to fubdue and govern. 

The compktsnefs of the Mediator's ofUces is another part 
of the gofpel-minifter's theme ; that they anfwer the ut- 
moft exigencies of a loft world ; that they are fit to fatis- 
fy the mind, the confcience, and the heart of a ftnner : 
lor, as a prophet, he fills the mind with light ; as a prieft, 
he pacifies the confcience ; and as a king, beftows what 
is fufiicient to fill the moft enlarged defires of the heart, 
even himfelf and all the fulnefs of the new covenant. 

The order of Chrift's offices fhould likewife be infifted 
upon, and kept in view as a cardinal point in divinity. — 
The proper order of thefe offices we think is this, he firft 
executes his prieftly oftice, and then his prophetical and 
kingly ^ for finners muft be redeemed to God by his blood- 


as the Matter of Gofpel-pre aching. 3 1 r 

before they be brought to the faving knowledge of him, 
or entire fubjedion unto him, which is the reafon of Llie 
oath wherewith he was invefted in his prieftly office. 

It is the duty of minifters to point out the efficacy of 
Chrifl^s offices. — As a prophet^ he teaches and inflrucls his 
people with powder and authority ; for, Never man /pake like 
him, John vii. 46. And he opens and illuminates the un- 
derftanding to receive his inftructions ; for, he is the true 
light that lightens every man ; and the entrance of his "joords 
give light. — As a priefl, he offered up a iacrifice, not like 
the typical facrifices under the law, which were only a Z?'^- 
dow of good things to come, and coidd not make the comers there- 
unto perfeB ; but one of iniinite value and efficacy, being 
the facrifice of himfelf : for. By one offeriiig he. hath perfed- 
ed for ever them that are fanclified. He hath made peace by 
the blood of his crofs ; and the blood of Jefus Chrijl his Son 
cleanfeth us from all sin. — As a king, he rules in* and 
over his people, and effisclually fubdues them to himfelf; 
he reftrains and conquers all their enemies, and defends 
them acrainft their moft fubtil and violent attacks. 

And finally, their perpetuity muft be declared. He lives 
for ever in the execution of them : r.nd becaufe he lives his 
people fhall live alfo. He lives for ever a glorified life in 
heaven, as our Mediator; not merely for himfelf, but alfo 
for the benefit of his people. He is ftill clothed with thefe 
three offices and will not lav them afide to all eternitv. — 
Accordingly, the apoflle John beheld him in the vifions of 
God; and, as it is commonly underftood, defcribes him 
in figurative language, as ftill veiled with his threefold 
office: Rev. v. 6. And I beheld, and lo, in the midjl of the 
throne^ and of the four beafts, and in the midfl of the elders 
flood a Lamb as it had been flain ; having feven horns, and 
/even eyes : where you fee that he is in the midfl of the throne^ 
in the execution of all his offices. — In his prieflly office; 
and therefore called the Lamb fain. — In his kindly office ; 
and is therefore defcribed as having y5^v;2 horns ; which in 

312 Christ Crucified^ recommended 

the prophetic flile, comn-only denote power and royal 
authority. — And in hi s^r^/'/^^/zV^/ office ; and is therefore 
faid to havey^'t'^^z eyes ; which point forth his knowledge 
and wifdom, whereby he is quahfied to teach effecluallv 
the church cathoHc by the various operations of his Spirit r' 
for the J even eyes are the feven Spirits of God feiit forth into 

all the earth. He Ihall be a prieft for ever, PfaL ex. 4. 

The facrilicing part of his prieft-hood, which bek^nged to 
the condition of the covenant, is long ago over, and he 
dieth no more ; but he ever liveih to make inter ctjjion^ and 
hath an unchangeable frieJl-Jjood. — He fhall be a king for 
ever to rule over the church militant and the church tri- 
umphant ; Ifa. ix. 7. — And he Ihall be a prophet for ever ; 
for as he is the light of grace, he will be the light of glory ; 
llev. xxi. 2 3. And the city had no rieed of the fun^ neither of 
the vioon to fhine in it ; for the glory of the Lord did lighten 
ity and the La??ib is the light thereof 

8. It is the duty and v/ill be the ftudy of every gofpel- 
minifter, to preach a crucified Chrift in his mediatorial ex- 
ccllencies and ferfedions, — He is poiTelibd of all mediatorial 
qualities : fuch as, his ability to lave ; for, He is able to 
fave to the uttermof}^ all that come unto God by him. — His^?7f- 
nefs for the office of mediation, being God-man Mediator, 
and fo qualified to lay his hand upon both parties, bringing 
about a reconciliation between an offended God and onend- 
ing finners.' — His being veiled with the threefold office of , 
prophet, priell;, and king, for the purpofe of faving loft 
finners of mankind ; of which before. Chrift's mediato- 
rial ferfeflions are likewife to be infilled upon. — He is a 
-powerful Mediator ; for. All power in heaven and in earth is 
given unto him, — He is a welUfurnifJoed Mediator; for, 'The 
Father loveth the Son^ and hath given all things into his hand, 
— He is a moft opulent and munificent Mediator : he has 
received gifts for men^ that he might give gifts to men, — In a 
word, he is poiTelTed of unbounded goodnefs and unner- 
ring wifdom \ and, in himfelf, altogether lovely. 

as the Matter of Gofpel-pre aching. 3 1 3 

9. It is the duty and will be the fludy and concern of 
a gofpel-miniller to preach the fulnefs of Chrifl j that 
belidcs the fulnefs of Deity in his divine nature, the 
fnlnefs'^f union in his perfon, and the fulnefs of habitual 
grace in his human nature, there is an authoritative ful- 
nefs in him as the head of the church to be communicate 
to others \ a fulnefs defignedly miniilerial, as the fulnefs o£ 
lioht in the fun and the fulnefs of water in the ocean: 


Col. i. 19. It pleafed the Father that in him Jloould all fid^ 
nefs dwell. It is not the fulnefs of a land flood, which 
foon fublldes, nor the fulnefs of a veffel to ferve his own 
turn ; but the fulnefs of a fountain that lends its ftreams 
to others without lelfening its own Ihare : accordingly it 
is faid, that Grace is -poured into his lips ; importing, that 
he hath it not to keep for himfelf, but to impart to others, 
that of his fulnefs we all may receive and grace for grace. In 
him is all j unifying grace for the pardoning of our fins 
and the acceptance of our perfons : He is e^calted a prince 
and a Saviour to give repentance to Ifrael and remijjton of fins* 
and believers are accepted in the Beloved : all quickening 
grace; for the Son quickeneth whornfoever he will: all fanc- 
tifying grace; hence he is faid to be a fountain opened for 
fin and for uncle annefs : all flrengthening grace; for with^ 
out him we can do nothings but through Chrifl flrengthening 
us we can do cill things : all comforting grace ; hence he is 
fliled the cojfolationoflfael: all eftabliihing grace; and 
hence the faints are faid to be preferved in Chriil Jefus. — 
In iliort, all the srrace and mercv the Father determined 
to beftow, when he was contriving how to fhew forth the 
exceeding riches of his grace ; all the grace and mercy 
which he could procure a vent for by the precious blood 
of his Son, one drop whereof equalled or rather exceeded 
in value the blood of the whole creation : all the srrace 
which hath faved all who have come to God thro' Chrifl 
already, and fhall fave all that iliall come while the world 
ftands \ all the grace which the great and precious pro- 

il r 

314 Christ Crucified, recommtndcd 

mifes do or can contain ; and all the grace which the 
^ eagle-eye of faith can apprehend. — Indeed, the fulnefs of 
grace that is in him is infinite, and the ftores of it inex- 
hauflible ; and he is no lefs liberal than rich. 

10. It is the duty and will be the concern of a gofpel- 
minifter to preach the gift and grant of Chrift to loft fin- 
ners ; that the God and Father of our Lord Jefus Chrift, 
moved by nothing but fovereign grace, hath made a gift 
and grant of a crucified Chrift, not to the elecl only, but 
to mankind indefinitely ; to finners of the race of Adam, 
without exception, and without the leaft refpecl to any 
qualification whatever ; John iii, 16. Godfo loved the world, 
that he gave his only begotten' Son, that whofsever believeth 
on him fhould not perijh, hut have everlafting life. Where, 
by the giving of him is underftood not only his eternal de- 
/ ftination by the Father to be the Redeemer of an eled 
World, and his giving him up to the death for them all in 
the fulnefs of time ; but more efpecially in the giving him 
in the word to all to be received and believed in. It can- 
not be meant of a giving in poflefiion, which is peculiar to 
aftual believers, but of fuch a giving as warrants every 
man tobclieve, and is therefore prior to a^lual believing; 
for he gave him that whofoever,^c, he gave him as thebra- 
ferpent was given to the Ifraeiites ; it was lifted up as a 
common good to the camp of Ifrael, and fo Chrift is given 
to loft men exclufively of loft- angels. 

It is the duty and will be the concern of the gofpel- 
minifter to preach, that although the purchafe and appli- 
cation of falvation be peculiar to the cXtd:, yet the ofier and 
exhibition of Chrift is univerfal; though many in our day 
cannot fee the cqnfiftency of thcfe two, but alledge, that 
if the purchafe was not made for all, thepropofal cannot be 
made to all. But did not God propofe the making of the 
cov^enant in favours of loft finners, without requiring a 
price for the propofal ? And why then may he not propofe 
ifc to finners in the everlafting gofpel without any price for 


as the Matter of Gofpcl-pr caching. 313: 

the propoful of it to them ? Did he not provide a ranfom of 
mere grace without a price? And why then may he not 
propofe it without receiving a price for the propoial ? The 
uniyerfality of the propofal indeed bears, that there is fuf- 
ficient vahie in the death of Chrill to pur chafe the falvation 
of all; but not that he actually died for all. In fliort, we 
are to teach that notwithllanding the particularity of the 
purchafe, the warrant, to receive Chrifi is common to all 
that hear the gofpel, eled: or reprobate ; and that the 
gofpel-offer abftracls from any confideratipn of this nature ; 
that it is dire6led to men neither as elect noi' reprobate, 
but merely as men : — U?ito you^ men^ I call ; and my voice 
is to the fans of men, 

II. It is the duty and will be the concern of a gofpel- 
minifter to preach the intimate conjunction of Chriil with his 
people. That he and they were one legally from eternity, 
in virtue of his engaging with the Father in the cove- 
nant of grace; Heb. vii. 22. By fo much was Jefus made 
the furety of a better teflament. This is the foundation of 
the imputation of their fins to him, and of the iniiicfing the 
punifliment due thereto on him ; as alfo, of the imputation 
of his righteoufnefs to them. — That there is a. Jiatural 
union betwixt him and them in virtue of his incarnation ; 
that though he took, upon him the nature of every man, 
yet it was for the fake of the elecl : that tliis was indifpen- 
fibly neceflary to their falvation ; for otherwife the finning 
could not have been the fufl'ering nature, as the apoftlc 
Paul, writing to the Hebrews, largely declares ; chap. ii. 
14, — 18. For af much then as the children are partakers ofjlefh 
and bloody he alfo himftlf Ukewife took part of the fame^ that 
through death he might deftroy him that had the power of 
deaths that is, the devil: and deliver them who, through fear of 
death, were all their life-time fubjeEl to bondage : for verily, he 
took not on him the nature of angels ; but he took on him the feed 
of Abraham, Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made 
like unto his brethren ; that he might be a merciful and faithful 

Rr 2 

^l6 Christ Crucified^ recommended 

h'lgh-fr'iej} in things pert ainirig to God, to make reconciliation 
for the fins of the people: for in that he hlmfelf fuffered, being 
tempted ; he is able to fuccour them that are tempted. Had it 
been the recovery of angels that he defigned, he would 
have taken their nature upon him ; but this vi'ould have 
afforded us no more rehef than his afTumine: of our nature 
does to the fallen angels. — That he and his people are ^ 
myflically one, as is evident from many refemblances ufed 
in fcripture to illuftrate this fubjecl; fuch as the union 
betwixt the vine and the branches, the natural head and 
the members, the hufband and the wife, the meat and, 
the eater, which w^ould rather tend to confound and puz- 
zle, than inftrucl us in the knowledge of truth, if there 
\vere no proper union betwixt Chrift and believers. — -Tjiis 
myftical conjunction is the effecl and accompliihment of 
the other two ; they are one in law ; one in nature ; and 
then one in Spirit : for. He that is joined to the Lord is one 
Spirit* The price which he paid to law and juftice in 
their room and (lead, is by virtue of the legal union laid 
to their account, in the time of love, that they may ac- 
tually enjoy the benefit by fpiritual union \vith him ; Rom. 
vii. ^. Wherefore my brethren, ye alfo are become dead to the 
law by the body of Chrifl, [the fufrerings of Chrift imputed 
to themj that ye fiould he married to another, even to him 
" who IS raijed from the dead, 

12. It is the duty and will be the concern of a gofpel- 
miniiler to preach the example of our Lord Jefus. Though 
he will be far from preaching up Chrift's pattern, to the 
neglecl: of his prieftliood and atonement, (as the Socinians 
who make it the chief, if not the whole end of his incar- j 
nation and death, and place the whole of Chriftianity in 
the imitation of Chrift; though, by the bye, in their 
praclice they defpife the qualities and duties wherein he 
chiefly manifefted his grace;) yet he will be concerned to 
teach that it was one end of his becoming man, and dying 
ip the human nature, that he might leave us an e ii ample ; 

as the Matter of Gofpel-preaching. 317 

that whereas fin had filled the whole world with a repre- 
fentation of the devil and his nature, God fcnt his Son 
into the world that he might in him reprefent the divine 
nature, and that he might exemplify to us both the end of 
our redemption, and what we in a way of duty ought to 
labour after. Horn. viii. 30. For whom he did foreknow^ them 
he alfo did -pre deft mate to he conformed to the image of his Son, 
That whereas all others are imperfect patterns, to be fol- 
lowed no farther than they follow Chrifi;, he is an abfo- 
lutely perfecl and glorious pattern of all grace, holincfs, 
and obedience; for. He did no fin ^ neither was guile found 
in his mouth. He was lights and in him was no darknefs at 
all ; that though all examples do in fome meafure follicit 
the mind to imitation, yet there is a peculiar force in the 
example of our Lord Jefus to incline us to the imitation of 
him ; becaufe, whatever he did as our pattern, he did it 
not for his own fake, but from lore to us ; John xvii. i 9. 
For their fakes I f and if y myfelf that they alfo may be fandi^ 
fed through the truth. And every thing we are to imitate 
in him is otherwife beneficial to us ; his meeknefs, his 
felf-denial, his readinefs for the crofs, and patience under 
afHidlion ; yea, all the duties he performed towards God 
and man, in his whole converfation on earth, make us 
righteous in the fight of God ; for, by his obedience we 
are made righteous. It was not therefore without rcafon 
that the apoftle, in the i 2 th chapter of the Hebrews, led 
his correfpondents from the cloud of witneflTes, their 
companions in believing, to the author and finiiher of 
faith, and that he did not propofe him to them in the fame 
manner, viz, as an example merely ; but that he propol- 
ed his perfon as the objed of faith, from whom they might 
expect affiftance in conforming themfelves to his example ; 
Looking unto Jefus the author and finifher of faith. What a 
pity is it that in our day many who are called Chrifi:iaus, 
and even minifl;er3, delight more in the virtuous fayings 
^nd actions of the Heathens, and are readier to make them 

3i8 Christ Crucified ^ recommended 

the objecl of their Imitation, than our Lord Jefus; though, 
by God's appointment, oiir beholding of hini is a means to 
make us like God ' 1 2 Cor. iii. 18. We all with open face be- 
holding as in a glafs the glory of the Lord^ are changed into the 
Jame image from glory to glory ^ even as by the Spirit of the Lord: 
but it is not to be wondered at; for the virtue and holi- 
nefs they are fteking after is of the fame kind with that 
which was in the heathen, and different from that which 
was in Chrift Jefus. 

13. It is the duty^^and will be the concern of a gofpel- 
minifter to preach the law of a crucified Chrift. That 
our Lord Jefus, in virtue of the fupreme authority over 
tbp church, wherewith he is vefted, hath made the fame 
law which was engraven upon Adam's heart at his crea- 
tion, and was afterwards ftated the condition of the cove- 
nant of works, to be now the inftrument and rule of his 
government over his faved people, fo that they are not 
without law to God^ but under the law to Chrifl ; that the* 
it be the fame law with the law of works materially, yet 
it has undergone feveral accidental alterations, as in the 
way of its conveyance, extent, and form. — In the way of 
its conveyance ; whereas the law of works was delivered by 
God as Creator, out of Chrift, this is delivered by God 
as he is not only Creator^ but Redeemer in Chrift '.^ Bear ye 
one another's b^urdens and fo fulfil the law of Chrift ; an alte- 
ration which our neceflitv called for. Thousrh when the 
law was firft given, the lawgiver and man were fuch 
friends, that he could receive it immediately without any 
danger to himfelf, or ftain to the Sovereign's honour ; yet 
now, that a breach is made by fin^ we cannot look on God, 
or his law, but as a confuming fire, until the Mediator in- 
tervenes, from whom we may and do receive it with all 
the authority ever it had originally, together with all that 
God-Redeemer can add to it. — The law of works and the 
law of Chrift difter likewife in refpe61: of their extent, or 
objecls 5 for whereas the law of works is given to all out 

as the Matter of Gofpel-pr caching, 3 1 9 

of Chrift only, the other is given only to fuch as are in 
Chrift. Others are left under the original authority of 
the law ; but as to believers in Chrift, the authority of 
the Lord Jefus doth immediately affecl their minds and 
confcicnces : hence he is faid to fecd^ or rule his people in 
the Jlrength of the Lord^ in the majefty of the name of the Lord 
his God, It is true, the wicked ought to fubmit to his au- 
thority, but yet his authority is not extended to them, foas 
to oblige him to govern them as his lawful fubjecls ; for 
then the liberties, privileges, and imtii unities of his king- 
dom behoved to be extended to them likewife, his law 
being added to the promife. — The lav/ of Chriil differs, 
moreover, from the law of works in its form ; for where- 
as the law, as it ftood in the covenant of works, had a 
promife of life annexed to obedience, and a threatening 
of death to difobedience ; it is quite ftript of thefe, as it 
ftands under the covenant of grace, which is founded up- 
on the ftate and condition of thefe who are under it, being 
all of them poffeffed of the perfect righteoufnefs of Chrift, 
and fo freed from eternal death, and intitled to eternal life. 

It will be the gofpel minifter's concern to preach, that 
this relation betwixt the covenant of grace and the law, 
is fo far from diffolving any obligation, w^hich lay origi- 
nally upon believers, as men, to any duty of the law, 
that on the contrary it is extended to new duties, or fuch 
as were not actual duties before; and it ftrencrthens the 
old oblisrations with new ones, and thefe ftronsfer than the 
old. What I call the new duties^ are fuch as thefe which 
the believer owes to the Mediator, to God under the re- 
lation of a Father, to the Holy Spirit as a fanclifier and 
comforter, and to fellow believers as brethren ; — w^hence 
the ftrongeft obligations are laid on them to fulfil the law 
of Chrift. 

14. It is the duty and will be 'the concern of a gofpel- 
minifter, to preach the prefefit j^lbries of a crucified Chrift, 
in heaven. That our Lord Jefus, though he was laid in 

320 Christ Crucified^ reconnnended 

the grave, was not loft in it, but rofe again with awful 
majefty on the third day, as the fir J} fruits of them that 
flepi^ according to the fcripture ; that after he had triumph- 
ed forty days over the devil, after he had hniflied his nii- 
niftry (as he was tempted forty days by the devil before 
he entered upon it) he went up to glory ; both gracioully, 
as a high-prieft ; and glorioufiy, as a king, attended with 
a fhining retinue of angels, and dragging the devils at his 
chariot wheels, and fat down on the right-hand of God ; 
where, in the human nature, as fubfifting in his divine per- 
fon, he is exalted, above the whole creation, in power, 
dignity, authority, and rulej yea, the glory and exalta- 
tion of Chrift in our nature, is not only above, but alfo 
of another kind than the utmoft of what any other created 
being hath, or is capable of, becaufe it is founded on its 
union to his perfon, a privilege which no other creature 
can pretend to, or be made partaker of to eternity. And 
this is a fpring of unfpeakable joy to all true believers ; 
for, Becaufe he lives ^ they fh all live alfo : and not only does 
he live a life of unfpeakable glory, in the human natu-re, 
but a mediatory life for us; Rev. i. i8. I am he that iiv- 
eth^ and was dead; and behold I am alive for evermore^ Amen: 
and have the keys of hell and of death. 

But there is no end of particulars ; and therefore I con- 
clude this Head with obferving, that it will be the ftudy 
and concern of a gofpel-minifter to preach every thing a- 
bout Chrift ; a whole Chrift : not that any can preach him 
fully, no ; never minifter did fo, but himfelf, 'The minifler 
of the fancluary^ and of the true tabernacle^ which the Lord 
pitched and not man; but a gofpel-minifter will not shun 
to declare the whole counsel of God concerning him: 
and to preach a whole Chrift, is to preach the whole bible ; 
for what is the whole bible, but a declaration of the 
counfels of God? and the perfon of Chrift is the facred 
repofitory of all thefe. He is both the centre and circum- 
ference of all the lines of divine, fpiritual, and fuperna- 

as the Matter of Gofp£l'preaching4 3 11 

tural truth ; fo he himfelf teiHnes, John xiv. 6. / am the 
truth, — He ib lb e ffcnt tally ^ ■^s he is one with the Father, 
the God of truth: — he is fo efficiently^ as by him alone it 
is fully and effectually declared ; for. No man hath fcen 
God at any t'lwe^ the only begoiten Son, which is in the bdfont 
of the Father, he hath declared him: — he is {<> fuhfl ant tally ^ 
in oppofition to tlie types and iliadows of the old tefta- 
nient ; for. In him duo ells all the fulnefs of the Godhead bo-^ 
dily : — and he is io fubjeclively ; for all divine truth, relat- 
ing to the faving knowledge of God, is tfeafured up ifi 
him ; In him are hid all the treafures of ivifdom and know* 
lege. There is not the leaf!: line of truth, how far foever 
it may be extended, and how fmall foever it may appear, 
\but the fpring of it lies in the perfon of Jefus ; and urllefs 
miniflers preach, and private perfons learft every truth iri 
its relation to the perfon of Chrift, it will have neither 
faving light nor efficacy attending it. 

2^/y, The next thing propofbd, under this Head, was 
' to explain the manner in which a gofpel-minifter is to 
preach Chrift crucified. And, 

I. He is to preach him demonftratively, i Cor. ii. 4. ikfy 
fpeech and?ny preachijig was not with enticing Words of man' f 
wifdom ; but in demonftraticm of the Spirit and of poiOer : that 
is, he preached fo as gave demon ilration that the Holy 
Ghoft was affifting him; or he preached fo as a demon- 
,ftration of the power of the Holy Ghoft W^as given to the 
hearts of the hearers; or rather, which is the thing I in- 
tend, he preached and fet forth a crucified Chrift with fuch 
evidence as could not be gainfaid : he fo pictured him forth 
that he was bold to afHrm to the Galatians, he was cruci- 
fied among them, as well as at Jerufalem, Gal. iii. i. He 
preached Chrift in fo lively a manner, that he, as it were, 
fet them down at Jerufalem by the crofs, and brought hiin 
forth crucified before the eyes of their faith, as really as if 
they had feen it done with their bodily eyes. And, O 
happy is the minifter who thus preaches Chrift! wlio 

S f 

3^2 Christ Critcifed, recommended 

preaches fo as to affect the confciences of the hearers, and 
make them fall down before the word, and acknowledge 
that God is in it of a truth. This was the primitive, tho' 
it be not the modern way of preaching, 2 Cor. iv. 2 . Not 
handling the word of God deceitfully^ hut by mamfeflatlon of 
the truths commending ourfehes to every man^s confcience in the 
fight of God. 

2 . A gofpel-minifter is to preach Chrift crucified -purely 
2Xidi faithfully ; Jer. xxiii. 28. He that hath wy word^ let 
hi?n fpeak my word faithfully ; that h^ purely^ without ming- 
ling it with his own dreams ; for fo he expounds it, what 
is the chaff to the wheats Minifters have no liberty to de- 
liver any new docl:rme to their hearers : they mufl preach 
what they have received^ and not what they have forged 
in their own brains ; That which I have received of the Lord^ 
I have delivered unto you. They are angels, and mufl keep 
to their meffage ; they are ambaffadors, and muil keep 

^clofs to their inllruclions ; they are ftewards, and not ma- 
ilers of the myfleries of God ; and it is required in a fleward 
Jhat a man he found faithful : they are to proclaim, not 
contrive laws for the confcience ; Hear the word at my 
mouthy and give them warning fro?n me. If it is not from 
him, it is not right, and will never prove the power of God 
unto fahation. 

3 . Chrift crucified muft be preached boldly : hence Paul 
fends as far as Ephefus for the help of the prayers of the 
Lord's people, that he might open his mouth boldly^ to make 
known the myftery of the gofpel. A minifter is boldly to af- 
fert the truths of the gofpel, and not only pleafing, but 
difpleafing truths ; truths that carry the crofs at their back : 
fuch was that truth v/hich Ifaiah delivered concerning the 
reje6lion of the JeVv^s, Rom. x. 20. But Ifaias is very holdy 
and faith ^ I was found of them that fought me not. He is 

, boldly to reprove fin, and denounce judgment againft im- 
penitent finners ; hence is that word, Ifa. Ivii. i. Cry aloud^ 
fpare not ; lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and fJ^ew my people 

as the Matter of Gofpel-preaching. 323 

their tranf^rejfwn, and the hoiifc of Jacob their fins, Sliall 
uny man be fo bold as to do what God forbids ? And (liall 
a niinifler be fo timorous, as not to fpcak what God com- 
mands ? No : tins wc^iild be tlie way to provoke God to 
t:onfoiind him before his hearers ; Jer. i. 17. Be not dif 
mayed at their faces ^ left I confound thee before thevu The 
apofUe Paul, though a prifoner, was not afraid to preach 
of righteoufnefs^ continence^ and judgment to come^ before a 
lafcivious prince ; and the fermon made him tremble^ Acls 
xxiv. 24, 2.5. 

4. The gofpel-minifter ought to preach Chrifl crucified 
with meeknefs^ as well as boldnefs ; 2 Tim. ii. 25. In meek- 
nef inftrucling thefe that oppofe themfelves. We muft not, 
as one fays, denounce wrath in wrath, left fmners think 
we wifh for their mifery ; but rather with fuch tender- 
nefs, that they may fee it is no pleafing work for us to 
rake in their wounds, but that we do it that we may not 
be acceffory to their ruin ; thus Jeremiah founds the alarm 
of judgment, yet at the fame time appeals to God, and 
clears himfelf of all cruelty towards them ; Jer. xvii. 1 6. 
As for me^ I have not haftened from being a f aft or to folloio 
thee^ neither have I de fired the woful day^ thou knoweft ; that 
which cajne out of my lips was rii^ht before thee. " A preacher, 
"' as Dr. Reynold fays, likeafurgeon,fhould have an eagle's 
" eye, to difcover the itate of the Ibul ; a lion's heart, to 
" fearch fpiritual wounds; and a lady's hand, to drefs 
*' them." The ferva?it of the Lord muft he gentle, 

5 . The gofpel-minifter ought to preach Chrift crucified 
fuitahly and feafonably ; 2 Tim. li. 14. Study to fhew thy- 
felf approved imto God.^ a worhnan that needeth not to be a- 
fhamed^ rightly dividing the word of truth. The exprefiion 

in this text is either borrowed from the cuftom of the 
pricfts under the Mofaic difpenfation, who, after cutting 
the facrifice, did diftribute the feveral parts according to 
divine appointment ; or from faithful Rewards, who, 
without refpcd of perfons, divide to every one their al- 

S f 2 

f V 

324 Christ Crucified, recommended 

iowance, according to the mafter's will. And thus ini- 
nifters of the gofpel, who are ftewards of the myflcrics of 
God^ muft preach the golpel fo as every hearer may find 
himfelf in the fermon ; being fons of thunder to the wicked, 
and fons of confolation to the faints. Our deficiency in 
this refpecl is the reafon why fo many rejoice, \vhen they 
fliould mourn ; and fo many mourn, when they ought to 

6. I'he gofpel-minifter is to preach Chrifl only ; i Cor. 
ii. 2. / determined not to know any thing' among yoii^ fave Je^ 
Jus Chr'iJ}^ and him crucified. What! may you fay, is a 
minifter to preach nothing but Chrift'^ no: nothing but 
what maybe properly enough reduced to preaching Chrift. 
Chrift alone is to be preached abfolutely; and all other 
truths as thev beg-in. centre, and end in him. Some have 
reduced all the materials of religion to four heads, viz, 
things to be believed^ things to be do?ie, things to be fought, 
and things to be received ; and Chrifl: is the fum of them 
all, All the myfteries to be believed, are by the apoflle, 
briefly up in one phrafe, the doctrine of Chrift;^ 
the thing's to be done, muff be done throuofh the sfrace 
pf Chrift ; the things to be fought, mufl be fought in the 
name, and are granted for the fike of Chrift ; and the 
things to be received, are in him to be communicated: 
And of his fulnefs have all we received and grace for grace,— 
We now proceed, 

II. To the fecond general Head of our method, namelya 
to fpeak of the entertainment given to the faithful gofpel- 
minifter's fubjecb, Chrift crucified. The text prefents us 
with a twofold entertainment given thereto ; to fome he 
is a J}u?nb ling-block and fcolifhnefs ; and to others, he is the 
fGwer of God and the wifdom of God. We fliall coniider 
|:hefe feparately, 

i/?. We have here an account of the bad entertainment 
glyen to the faithful minifter's fubjecl^ he is to the Jews 

as the Matter of GofpeUpreaching. 325 

a ftumb ling-block^ and to the Greeks fooUJhnefs, Let us 
enquire then what it is in and about Chrift crucified, that 
is a ground of ftumbling and offence to gofpel-hearers. 
-* 'i. They are ftumbled at the fcrfon of Chrift. The 
wicked world fee no forjn nor comlinefs in him ; they per- 
ceive no beauty nor excellency in Jefus, whereby they fliould 
defirc him ; and fo trample under foot the Son of God. The 
carnal Jews and felf-conceited Greeks united together in 
contemning the Son of God ; the one require a ftgn^ and 
the other feek after wifdom^ and thereby undervaluiiig the 
Prince of Hfe, and fetting at nought the wifdoai that 
cometh from above ; fo that both Jews and Gentiles con- 
fpired in the rejection of him, becaui^ he -came not in all 
that external pomp and grandeur they foolifhly expected. 
Is not this^ fay they, the carpenter^ the fon of Mary, the 
brother of James and Jofes f — And they were offended at him, 

Mark vi. 3. He has been oppofed by fome in all ages 

and periods : it would be endlefs to fliew the fooliflinefs 
of that oppofition that wicked and erroneous men have 
evidenced to his perfon ; fome have denied his perfonality, 
and others have contemned it : but the gates of hell Ihall 
never prevail againft him. 

2. They are offended at the do6lrine of Chrift. The 
diftinguifliing doclrines of the crofs of Chrift, our exalted 
Kedeemer, though they be the peculiar glories of the 
Chriftian religion, and run through the whole of it ; yet 
multitudes feem now to grow weary of them. Philofo- 
phical difquifttions concerning the nature of things, the 
fine arts, and the excellency of moral virtue, delivered 
with the elegant flourifhes of oratory, are moft acceptable 
to men of depraved minds ; while the moft valuable dif- 
eourfes, on the interefting do6trines of a crucified Jefus, 
are difrelifhed by them.- — There are two things particu- 
larly relative to the doctrine of Chrift, that the hearers of 
the gofpel are offended with. 

(i.) Men are offended at the y^W/W/jv of the doctrine of 

.. L, 

326 Christ Crucified, recommended 

Chrifl : it contains myfleries which they cannot compre- 
hend ; fiich as, the myilery of the Trinity, the incarna- 
. tion of the eternal Word, the uiyflical union, the fatis- 
facbion of the Son of God, and the refurreclion : thefe 
fublinie doclrines arc what men and women are offended 
with. And fo when Paul preached Jefus and the refur- 
rection at Athens, he was encountered by certain Philofo- 
phers. Epicureans, and Stoicks, who mocked and derided 
him, as a fetter forth of ft range gods^ and new dotlrines ; 
and therefore they were offended, and cryed out, Thou 
bringej} certain fl range -things to our ears ; we would know 
therefore what tliefe thhigs mean? Acts xvii. 16, — 20. 

(2.) Men are offended at the ftnipHcity of the doctrine 
of Chriff. The fimplicity of the docfrine of the everlaft- 
ing gofpel is one of its peculiar excellencies. It ftands in 
no need of the embellifliments and refinements of human 
rhetoric to fet it off; nor of the enticing words of mens 
wifdom. The gofpel of the grace of God, never appears 
to better advantage, than when preached in its naked 
fimplicity. The great apoftle of the Gentiles, though a 
preacher of accomplifhed erudition, did not preach the 
gofpel, v/ith the wifdom of words^ left the crofs of Chrift 
fhould be made of non-cffecl ; hut in the demonflration of the 
Spirit and of power ^ 1 Cor. i. 17. and ii. 4. Multitudes 
of gofpel-hearers, however, find no relifh in evangelical 
truths, delivered in the words of infpiration, unlefs they 
be dieffed up in human eloquence. The Greeks feek wifdom^ 

3. Many gofpel-hearers are difplcafed with the fulnefs 
of Chrifl, becaufe it tends to ftrip them of felf and 
felf-righteoufnefs. The generality of men are filled with 
a conceit of themfelves, that they are, like the church of 
Laodicea, rich and increafed with goods^ and fiand in need, 
of nothing ; and cannot think of being emptied of them- 
felves, that they may be filled with all the fulnefs of G^d. ^ 

4. There is nothing in and about Chrift but what a 
carnal world ftumble at, and are oflfended with, — They are 

as the Matter of Gofpel-pre aching. 327 

offended at \ii?> facrifice and atonement ; and fo they account 
the blood of the covenant^ whereby they Jhould be fantlified^ 
an unholy ^Z;/;?^.— They are diffatisfied with his righteoufncfs ; 
and io go about to eftabliJJo their own right eoiifnefs , — They 
are offended at his laws^ becaufe of their fpirituahty and 
extent: The law is holy ; and the commandment holy^juj}, and 
good* Thy lavj is exceeding broad. — They are difpleafed at 
his ride znd government : and fo they will not have this man ta 
reicrn over them. — The Tews were offended at his miracles ; 
and therefore accufed him of ca fling out devils by Beelzebub 
the Frince of devils. But paffmg this, we proceed, 

2<://y, To touch a little at the happy effect the gofpel has 
upon others; or at the ^oW entertainment they give it: 
■ — To them which are called effedlualJy by the grace of God, 
and are enabled to believe, he is Chrifl the power of God^ 
and the wifdom of God. Here I ihall enquire, 

[i.] In what refpeds Chrift crucified is, and appears 
to believers to be, the power of God. — And to fuch, 

(i.) He is the power of God subjectively; that is, he is 
the fubje<5t in which the power of God reiides^ John xvii. 2, 
As thou hafl given him power over all flefh^ that he fhould give 
eternal life to as many as thou hafl given him. Not only is he 
Almighty, cdnfidered as to his divine nature, nor is his hu- 
man nature poffeffedmerely of a refemblance of omnipotence, 
in that he can do whatever he wills, becaufe his human 
will always correfponds moft exactly with his divine ; but as 
God-man, in one perfon, he is invefted with all the power of 
God : and hence one of his names is, the mighty God; or, 
as it is in the original, God the mighty One.^ which refpecls 
him as our Lord-Redeemer, God and man in one perfon. 
Infinite power cannot be feated in the human nature of 
Chrift, bccaufjb a created being is not capable of infinite 
perfection: but the divine and human natures make but 
one perfon in him; and fo he w^ho is the man, the God- 
man, is the fubje^l: of the infuiite. power of God ; which 
fpeaks terror to all that ftumble at him ; for he can cruih 


328 Christ Crucified^ recommended 

them in pieces as a moth, and will do it, if the thne ojf 
his grace were over: Luke xix. 2 7. But thofe mine enemies^ 
which would not that I Jhould reign over them^ brinrr hither 
and/lay them before mc. This conlideration likewiie, fpeaks 
comfort to all who regard him as the power and wifdorrv 
of God : for feeing he is the fubje61: of divine power, what- 
ever are their wants, he is able to fupply them; whatever 
are their weakneiTes, he is able to fupport them. It more^ 
ever fpeaks forth an invitation to all to come and receive 
him ; for certainly it is better to touch the golden fceptre 
than to be broken with the iron rod, and to feel the effi* 
cacy of his grace than the power of his anger. 

(2.) Chrifl crucified is in himfelf, and appears to belie- 
vers to be, the power of God objectively, as the power of 
God is eminently manifefted in him. The power of God 
was notably difplayed in creation, it Ihines every day in 
providence ; but you will not find any of thefe fliled the 
-power of God in the abftrad, as is here ; becaufe there, is 
a far greater difpjay of power in Chriil than either in cre- 
ation or providence. The power of God was illufl:riouily 

I . In Chrift's conception in the womb. Behold^ faid the 
Lord to Ahaz, a virgin fh all conceive^ and. hear a Son^ and 
flmll call his name Immanuel. As the body djf the firft Adam 
was wonderfully formed of the duft; fo thebodyof thefecond 
Adam was wonderfully formedof thefubftanceof the virgin. 
That a virgin Ihould be with child was a great, a high mi- 
racle, far above all the laws and power of nature. Ho\f 
then was it effecled ? The angel's words to the virgin will 
inform you ; Luke i. 35. T^he Holy Ghofl fh all, come upon thee, 
and THE POWER of the highest shali^ overshadow 
thee: therefore alfo that holy thing which Jhall be barn of 
thee fh all be called the Son of God. The. third perfon of the 
bleffed Trinity overftiadowed the virgin ; and, by an aft 
of infinite power, formed the humanity, of Chrift, and 
united it to the divinity. He was the wonderful opera- 

as the Matter of GofpeUpre aching. 325^ 

tor; and therein the power of the mofl High was Angu- 
larly difplayed. The arm of divine power was lifted up 
as high as the dcfigRS of divine wifdorn were laid deep. 

2 . The power of God was remarkably difplayed in the 
incarnation of Chrift ciiicified : The Word was made flejh» 
He who waii-i hi the form of Gad ^ took upon him the form of a 
fervant. He who had the effence and majefl^y of God, af- 
fumed fo low a thing as humanity. Never did God come 
fo near the creature as here. He w^as in the world by his 
univerfal prcfence; he was in the temple by types and 
fymbols; he is in the faints by his grace; and he is in 
heaven in his glory: but by the incarnation of our Lord 
Jefus, he h perfonally in the human nature. O what 
wonders of power are here, that two natures, in them- 
felves infinitely diflant, flioald meet by a perfonal con- 
junction, without any confufion or converfion whatever! 
Here, in fome refpecl, more power is manifeiled than in 
making a world. When mere nothing was by almighty 
power changed into angels and men, the change was but 
into finite ; but here the human nature was taken into 
an infinites and between the infinite God, and human* 
nature, there is a greater difnarity thaii betVv^een a world 
and nothincr. Here indeed God did not create an infinite, 
which is impollible, but he came as near it as poflibly he 
could, bv ailuminG: a finite nature into union W'ith an in- 
finite. Undoubtedly, if there was any thing next to im- 

. pofiible for God to do, this was it. 

3. Chrift crucified difplayed divine power in the mira^ 
cles he wrought. This Nicodemus acknowleged, in his 
firft addrefs to our Lord, John iii. 2. Rabbi, we know thai 
thou art a teacher come from God ; for no man can do tbcfi 
miracles which thou dofl, except God be ivith him. Though 
there may be and have been lying wonders, and it may 
be hard enough to diftinguifli betwixt them and real mi- 
racles; yet it is certain, and acknowleged by all, that to 
work a real miracle requires almighty power : and hov/ 

T t 

33<^ Christ Crucified^ rscdmmendcd 

many fuch did onr Lord work, when he brought his peo- 
ple out of Egypt ? He did wonders likewife when he de- 
livered his law upon mount Shiai : but he performed 
greater, and much more numerous miracles, when he was 
made mamfejl in flefh ; then the water was turned in- 
to wine ; the wind and the feas obeyed him ; the bhnd 
received their fight ; the lame did leap ; the lepers w ere 
clcanfed ; the deaf did hear ; the dumb fpake ; the dead 
were raifed ; and the devils were difpoffefled. In all thefe 
things the right hand of the Lord was gloriom in power, — 
What manner of man is thisy that even the winds and the fea 
obey hiin! 

4. Chrift crucified difplayed the power of God in his 
fufferings. The fufferings of our Redeemer from the hands 

of men and devils were fuch as no power, but divine, 
v/as able to fuftain with fuch patience and meeknefs as he 
did: but his fufferings from the hand of God, when he 
fatisfied divine juftice, and expiated the guilt of men, were 
io infinitely grievous and oppreflive, that nothing but al- 
mighty power could have fupported him under them : 
hence he is reprefented in them as travelling in the great* 
nefs of his flrength* It would have ftruck palenefs in the 
face of the cherubims to fee fuch w rath coming upon them ; 
and if it had fallen upon them, it would have drunk up 
their fpirits for ever: but our Redeemer encountered it, 
and bore up under it with amazing fortitude ; yea, never 
failed, nor was difcouraged, till he could cry on the crofs 
wdth the fliout of a victor, // is finifl)ed; as if he had faid, 
This brunt is over, the work of man's redemption is ac- 
complifhed, and all the obftacles that flood in the way 
thereof are removed: offended juflice is fatisfied; the law 
is magnified; fin is expiated; Satan is conquered; and all 
the enemies of my people are fubdued; a right to eternal 
life is purchafed for them ; and a new way to the pofTef- 
'' iion of it opened." — O w^hat divine power fhines here! 

5 . The divine power was illuflriouHy difplayed in the 


as the Matter (ff Gofpel-preaching. 331 

refurreSfion of Clirifl: crucified from the dead; liom. i. /[. 
And declared to be the Son of God with poiver ; according to 
the Spirit of holinefi, by his refurre6lion from the dead. He 
ivas crucified in iveaknefs ; but be lives by the power of God, 
The raifing a perfon from death to life has always been 
counted one of the greatctl evidences of omnipotence : but 
the refurrcc'tion of our Lord Jefus was no ordinary refur- 
re(5lion ; for it was no ordinary death he died : He died for 
our offences ; and he undertook never to rife till he had id- 
tisfied for tke iins of an elect company. It was no ordi- 
nary rcfurrection, becaufe he rofe not as a fingle perfon, 
but as a public head, in the name of all his people: when 
he rofe, he broke open all their graves ; and fo it was as 
much as the railing of them all up together at lail ; for he 
took the gates of hell and death, and carried them away 
with him, as Sampfon did the gates of Gaza: hence the 
apoftle fpeaking of Chrift*s rcfurreclion fays, death! where 
IS thy fling f O grave ! where is thy vidory. It was not an 
ordinar)^ refurrecl:ion ; for he was raifed up fir above all 
principalities and powers, " Go, as one fays, and make 
a pair of compafTes ; meafure the diftance betwixt thefe 
two extremes, the low ftatc he was raifed from, and 
" the high ftate he was raifed to ; put one foot of the 
compafs in heaven, whither he is afcended, far abcve 
all principalities and powers ; and put the other foot of 
the compafs in the lower parts of the earth, where he 
lay, and fay if it did not require the exceeding greatncfs 
of divine power to raife him up." In lliort, there is no- 
thing that bears proportion to the power puc forth in the 
refurrecHon of Chrift, if it be not the power exerted in 
raifing a finner from death in fin to the life cf grace, 
Eph. i. 19. 

6. The power of God was notably dlfplayed in our 
Lord's afcenfion into heaven, and his exaltation at God's 
right-hand ; hence his afcenfion is defcribed by the Pfal- 
niift as attended w:\t\i power and great glory ^ Pfal. Ixviii. 

Tt 2 

33- Christ' Crucifed^ re'commended . 

1 8. T'bou hajl a fc ended up ori mgh ; thou haft led ca-pthnt'i 
captive; thou haft received (rifts for men. And his exalta- 
tion is by the apoille Peter exprefsly afcribed to the al- 
mighty power of God ; Acls ii. 33. 'Therefoi e being by the 
right-hand cf God exalted: chap. v. 31. Hini hath God ex- 
alted WITH HIS RIGHT-HAND to be a Prince ana' a Savioi/r, 
O what a blefTed change of circuinftances was this to oar 
Lord, in which the almiahcv power of God was illuilri- 
oufly difplayed ! Him whom the Jews exalted on a crofs, 
and hanged on an accnrfed tree, did the Father exalt to 
the throne of crlorv at his own ris^ht-hand! 

7. The power of God will be fmgularly difplayed, in 
ChTi{t' s /ec(;?2d coniingy and in the mighty eiiefls and events 
that Ihall attend it ; hence he himfclf fays concerning it, 
Matth. xxiv. 30. They JI? all fee the Son of 7nan corning in the 
clouds cf heaven with power and great glory, And,* O how 
will the divine po\'. er be then difplayed in xat. rcfurreclion 
of the dead, and the change of the living, efpecially the 
C'lan c that fiiall be made on the bodies of behevers, .ac- 
cording to what the apoftle fays, Phil. iii. 21. Who foall 
cha7,gc our vile body^ that it may be fafhioned like to his glo- 
rious body^ according to the working whereby he is able even 
to lubdue all thin(Ts to himfelf! What a v/ork of glorious 
power and majefty will the judgment of the laft day bel 
With what irreiifdble power and ellicacy will the fentence 
be executed both on the ris^hteous and the wicked 1 Thefe 
Jhall go away into everhifting pumfhmert^but.t.he righteous 
into life eternal. The wicked fhall be puniflnd-with an ever- 
lafiing deftrudion from the pre fence, of, the Lord^ and from the 
i^lory cf his power: and tlie righteous, by tlie almighty 
power of God, f:"iall be carried up into heaven, where 
they iliall be ever with the Lord. 

o. The pov/er of God is notably difplayed in our Lord's 

removing the guilt of fin^ in order to our faivation : and 

. hence is that word. When he- had by himself purged our 

j^ns, O what a difficult y/.o^^k w<^s t'aiis! It had been eafier 

as. the Matter of Gof pel-preaching. 333 

•for our Redeemer to remove mountams, to unhinge the 
fr.ime of nature ; yea, to annihilate the world, than re- 
. move the guilt of men's fins : he fpoke the world into be- 
ing, and he could have fpoke it again into nothing, with 
the fanle eafc; but before fm Gould be expiated by him, he 
mull take the human nature into union with the divine, 
and fuifer, bleed, and die on the crofs. Now, the more 
diiiicult the work is, the more powei" is required to ac- 
compiifh it. How illuftrioiiily then was the power of God 
manifeded in Chrift crucified, when, by his crofs. He made 
an end of fin ^ and brought in an everlafting right eoufnefs ! — 
Hcb. X,. 14. For bjtone offering he hath perfected for ever them 
that are fanclified. 

9. The power of God is notably difplayed in Chrift's 
conquering Satan and alt the powers of hell. By. nature we 
.are all under the power of Satan, our mortal enemy. It 
.was, an aggravation of Lfrael's fervitude, Pfal. cvi. 41* 

that they who hated them^ rided over them. Well, natu- 
^r4lly:\\?e are enflayed to Satan, who is a hater of the hu- 
riianc race, and who writes all his laws in the blood of his 
.fubjecls : but our Lord Jefus has conquered Satan, and de- 
ftroyed his internal works, and recovered his people out of 
his hands. In his own perfon he fpoiled him On the crofs, 
and by his Spirit he fpoils him in them : by his blood he 
bought him out, and by his Spirit he cafts him out. And 
is not this a notable inflance of the power of God ? The 
overthrow of Pharoah and his hods in the Pted-fea, when 
they fink as lead in the mighty waters^ is but a faint em- 
blern of our Lord's viclor)^ over Satan, and of the power of 
God whereby it was effecluated. 

10. The power of God is wonderfully difplafed in 
ChriiPs implanting grace in the fouls of his people. And 
hence there is fcarce any expreflion ufed to fignify it, that 
does not imply the neceflity of almighty power to accom- 
plifh it. Thus, when it is called lights we may gather, that 
\% requires the fame power of God that was put forth in 

334 Christ Crucified^ recommended 


creating the fun : when it is called a regeneration, we may 
collect, that it requires the fame power that is put forth in 
forming an infant in the womb: when it is called a refur- 
reclion, it is implied, that the fame power is requilite to it as 
to raifing the dejd : when it is called a creation, it imports, 
an exertion of the fame power as in bringing thrs comely 
world out of nothing : yea, there is a greater diftance be- 
twixt the terms ftn and right eoufnefs, corruption and grace, 
than betwixt nothing and being. 

IT. The power of God ihines forth remarkably in 
ChriiVs frefervlng in his people the grace he hath implant- 
ed. As the providence of God is a manifellation of his 
power, being a fort of continued creation, fo the prefer- 
vation of grace is a manifellation of his power, being in a 
manner a continued regeneration. It is the fame divine 
power that brings men into a ftate of grace, and afterwards 
preferves them in it ; hence is that of the apoftle, i Pet. i. 5 • 
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto falvation. 
How foon would a believer fall finally and irrecoverably, 
were it not that he is kept by the almighty power of God ? 
A ftone may as foon hang in the air, without any thing to 
fupport it, or a fpark of fire burn in the midft of the ocean, 
as they can perfevere in a ftate of grace, without the renew- 
ed influences of the Spirit of God. 

I 2 . The power of God will be greatly manifefted in 
Chrift's completing the work of grace and perfecting it into 
glory ; when the believer, a^ftcr he has been enabled to tri- 
umph over the laft enemy, in the words of the apoftle, 
O death! where is thy fling f O grave / where is thy vidoryf 
When he fliall be brought home to heaven, and is there 
poileifed of endlefs glory and happincfs, how will he ad- 
mire the power of God's hand and of his gi'ace, and blefs 
him for the cffedual wmking thereof, whereby he was 
brought to that bleffed place ! Then will he clearly fee 1 
crucified Chrift to be the power of God. 

as the Matter of Gofpcl-preachitig, 3 3 J" 

' [2.] I go on in the next place to enquire, in what re- 
fpecls Chrift crucified is, and appears to believers to be, 

(i.) He is fo SUBJECTIVELY j Col. ii. 3. In whom are hid 
all the treafures of ivifdom and knowledge. He is not only 
the infinitely wife God, in refpc^ of his divine nature ; 
nor is there in his human nature merely a wifdom refcm- 
bling that of God ; but as God-man he is poflefTcd of all the 
wifdom of God : /// him are hid all the treafures of wifdom, 
not objectively only, becaufe in the knowledge of him wc 
may find all the treafures of wifdom ; but fubjcclively alfo, 
as the knowledge inherent in his perfon contains all the 
treafures of wifdom. He could not be objeclively all wif- 
dom to us, if he had not firft all wifdom in himfelf. O the 
admirable wifdom of our Redeemer, appearing all along 
with the condud of his providence in the church and in 
the world, whereby men and devils are out-witted ! 

(2.) He is the wifdom of God objectively and mani- 
feflatively, as the wifdom of God is eminently manifeftcd 
in him. In creation and providence there are fome lefl'cr 
fums of wdfdom, but in Chrift crucified the treafures of 
wifdom are hid as in the great exchequer. The wifdom 
of God is difplayed, 

I . In the incarnation of Chrift crucified : Without contro- 
verfy great is the my fiery of godlinefs , God made inanifefl in 
the flefh. Our Lord Jefus, who was confubftantial with 
the Father as to his divinity, was made of the fame kind 
of fubftance with us. Heaven and earth were united to- 
gether in an ineffable manner. The diftance betwixt God 
and man was, as it were, filled up in his wonderful in- 
carnation : the creature came as near the Creator as pof- 
fibly could be. O w^hat a myftery is this ! Myfterious in- 
deed is the wifdom of God to unite finite and infinite, 
power and weaknefs, mortal and immortal, mutable and 
immutable ! To have a nature from eternity, and a nature 
fubjeft to the revolutioni of time j a nature to make the 

33^ Christ Crucified^ recommended 

law, and a nature to be fubjed to the fame law : this is 
not only the wifdom of God, but the wifdom of Godwin- a 

2. The wifdom of God is eminently difplayed in recon- 
ciling opfojite interefts in a crucified Chrift, 'viz, the intereil 
of heaven and earth. Upon the entrance of fin into 
the world, God's glory feemed to be abfolutely arreeon- 
cileable with man's falvation ; for the glory of God's jii- 
flice, holinefs, power, and faithfulnefs, feemed to confift 
with nothing fiiort of man's utter ruin and deilruclion ; 
but in Chrift crucified, the glory of all thcfe perfections, 
and thje falvation of finners are brought to a perfect con- 
fiftency: God having in him confulted both his own glory 
.and our happinefs. Rom. iii. 24, 25, 26. Being jufllfied 
freely hy his grace ^ through the redemption thUt 'is \nQhrlfl 
Jefus ; whom God hath fet forth to be a propitiation through 
faith in his bloody to declare his righteoufnefs for the remijjion 

of fins that are pafl^ through the forbearance of God; to de^ 
clare^ Ifay^ his righteoufnefs : that he might be jufl^ and the 
jujlifier of him which believeth in Jefus »' 

3. The wifdom of God fhines in Chrift crucified in re- 
conciling, through him, perfeSlions that feemed to oppofe 
one another in their claims. The great God prefcribed a 
law to man after he made him, and commanded him to 
obey it under pain of eternal death and damnation : man 
broke this law, and thereby incurr*ed the penalty ; where-' 
upon the juftice and veracity of God, two effential per-' 
feclions of his nature, pled that the threatenmg might be 
executed, and man puniilied according to the demerit of 
his crime. In the mean time, the bowels of divine com- 
pafiion yearned towards the offender; and mercy that had- 
never yet been difplayed pled, that for %er honour and 
glory the ofiender might be faved and fpared. The dif- 
ficulty, filencing to all human and angelic wifdom, was, 
how both thefe perfections might obtain their demands, 
and be equally glorified. The wiijiom of God found out 

as the Matter of Gofpel-preachlng. 337 

the expedient, which was Chnll crucliied ; that the Soa 
of God Ihould become the Son of man ; and by his death 
and fufferincrs make full iatlsfaccion for the fuis of men, 
and procure a vent for mei'cy ; that at the £ime time that 
juftice is glorified in tiie punifliment of the fin, the glory 
of mercy may be manifefted in faving the finner. This is wonderful contrivance of infinite wifdom which will 
excite the eternal admiration and praife of men and angels, 
and make them fay with the apoRle, i Tim. i. 17. Now^ 
unto the King eternal^ immortal^ mvifihle^ and the only wifi. 
God^ be honour and glory ^ for ever and ever. Amen. 

So much may fuffice for the doctrinal part of our fubjeft^ 
We now proceed, 

III. To make fome fliort Improveyneiit of what has been 
faid. And our firfl ufe fhall be of information^ in the fol- 
lowing: inferences. 

I. This text and docfrine fhews us the centre of all 
gofpel-truth ; Chr'ift crucified. This is the gofpel-minifter's 
theme. lie is not to fhun declaring the whole counfel of God; 
yet ftiil it is true, he ought to know nothing amoyig his hear-- 
ers, but Jefus Chrift a?id him crucifed. Thefe things are 
very confident, becaufe Chrift crucified is the centre of 
all divine truth ; accordingly, he calls himfelf the truth, 
John xiv. 6. — He is fo ejjentially^ as he 'is one with the Fa- 
ther, the God of truth. — He is fo likewife in regard that 
by him alone divine truth is fully and efieclually declared; 
For no man hath feen God at any time^ the only begotten Son, 
zvhich is in the bofom of the Father^ he hath declared him, — 
He is the truth likewife in oppofition to old-tefi:ament 
types and ihadows ; for the body is of CbriJ},— And he is 
the truth, in reo-ard all divine truth, relatino: to the favinof 
knowledge of God, is treafured up in him : and hence he 
is faid to h^ full of truths John i. 14. As all the lines of 
a circle meet in the centre ; fo all the lines of divine truth 
unite in, and fpring from the perfon of Chrift. 

U u ' 

338 Christ Criicifed, recommended 

2. This docTtrine informs us of the honour and dignify of 
the holy mini ft ry, 1 he work of thofe employed in it is to 
preach a crucified Chriih What more honourable than 
this ? I know very well, that what minifters fay on this 
fubjecl is often attributed to pride, and an afteclation of 
worldly great n efs : but it ought to be remembered, that 
we do not, we dare not, magnify oiirfelves ; but we may, 
we ought to magnify our office, efpecially at a time when 
it is fo much contemned, and our perfons for its fake: 
yea, it is neccifary in order to the fuccefs of our minillry, 
that we magnify our office, becaufe an efteem of our of- 
fice tends to make way for the reception of our doctrine; 
For I f peak to you Gentiles^ in as much as I am the apojlle of 
the Gentiles ; I magnify mine office^ if by any ?neans I may pro- 
voke to emulation them which are iny flefh^ and might five fome 
of them^ Rom. xi. 13, 14. If miniflers be preachers of a 
crucified Chrift their office is moft honourable, as all the 
names given them in fcripture do import; but above all, 
this is the greateft evidence of the honourablenefs of our 
office, that our Lord Jefus was clothed with it : A^(9w, / 

Jay^ that Jefus Chrifl was a mimfler of the circumcifion^ for 
the truth of God to confirm the promifes made unto the fathers^ 
Rom. XV. 8. 

3. From what has been faid, we may learn, that a 
crucified Chrift fhould be the chief objed of the ftudy of 
private perfons. If it be the chief bufinefs of miniifers to 
propofe him to confideration, it certainly is the chief duty 
of hearers to confider him ; Wherefore^ holy brethren^ par- 
takers of the heavenly callings confider the apojlle and high 
p'iefl of our profejfwn^ Chrifl Jefus ^ Heb. iii. I . But, alas ! 
it is to be lamented, that as many minifters in our times 
have dropt him out of their preaching, fo many profeffors 
have dropt him out of their meditations, efpecially confi- 
dering the woful confequences of it ; fuch as, apoftacy and 
declenfion from the truth and ways of Chrift. What is 
the reafon of the inftability of profeffors of religion in our 

as the Matter of Gofpel-pre aching. 339 

day, which is fuch that they are only conflant In iricon- 
ftancy, but that they have given over tlie conlideration 
of Clirift Jefus, and fb have loft the means of their eftab- 
hfhnicntr ifVlas! many of us have not been employed in a 
conftant adoration of his majefty, adniiration of his excel- 
lency, delight in his beauty, and holy thoughtfulnefs a- 
bout his whole mediation. This hath betrayed us to our 
lukewarmnefs and indifference, and made us faint and 
w^eary in his ways. — Again, whence is it that profeffors 
are fo unholy and fo unlike Chrift ? They have given over 
the confideration of him, which is the way to be made like 
him ; Beholding as in a ^Jafs the glory of the Lord, ^we are 
chamjed into the fame ima^e. — What is the reafon of the 
fcandalous v/orldlinefs of profeffors? It is owing to our 
not confidering Chrift ; for as the ftudy of him is direcfly 
oppoftte to this frame of mind, fo it would gradually caft 
it out: God forbid that I Jhould glory five in the crofs of our 
Lord Jefus Chrift^ by whom the world is crucified unto me^ 
and I unto the world. Gal. vi. 14. 

4. From what has been faid, we may fee reafon to 
lament, that hearers of the gofpel fhould be wearied of the 
preaching of Chrift Jefus. He is the great fubject of gofpel 
preaching; and is it not melancholy, that people in gene- 
ral, and even profeffors of religion iliould (if I might fpeak 
fo) be glutted with the gofpel ? That this is the temper 
even of profeffors is too evident from their feldom attend- 
ing upon the preaching of a crucified Chrift. Many are 
fo far from redeeming time to hear the word, that v/hen 
it is brought to their doors, they feem ftudioufty to avoid 
it. Many bewray this fatiety by their fond aft'eclation of 
refined language, which at the fame time they know little 
^about. Wholefome doctrines will not go down with them, 
unlefs they be fo and fo delivered, which argues the want 
of a fpiritual appetite for the fincere milk of the word. — 
Many preachers think the word of God too plain for their 
mouth to preach it ; and many hearers think it too plain 

Uu 2 

34^ Christ Cructfed, recommended 

for their ears to hear "it : they muft have the foothing and 
enticing words of man's wifdom ; thus they rejecl the word 
of God, and what wifdom is in them ? There is pride 
enough in fuch profeffors, but what wifdom is in them ? 
And there is cowardice enough in fuch preachers. " When, 
*' fays Dr. Reynolds, I hear men magnify quaint and po- 
'' lite difcourfes, and defpife fermons that are plain and 
*' wholefome, I look upon it not fo much as an aft of 
** pride, as the effecf of fear and cowardice; becaufe wiien 
** external trimmings are wanting to tickle the fancy, 
*^ there the word hath the moll: powerful operation upon 
*^ the confcience, and fo mull the more ftartle and terrify." 

5. What has been faid reaches a reproof to all the anti- 
chriflian preachers of our time, who preach not Chrift 
crucified : fuch are all your mere inoral preachers, who 
prefs moral duties, but not evangelically ; who preach the 
law, but not as it is delivered from the hands of a Medi- 
ator, Such alfo are all vain-glorioiis minifters, who inflead 
of making Chriit known, make it their errand to the 
pulpit to make themfelves known, which is great wicked- 
nefs. Faul clears himfclf of guilt in this particular ; For 
7ielther at any thne ufed ive flattering words ^ as ye know^ nor 
a cloke of covet 01 f nefs ; Gcd is witnefs : nor of men fought zv 
glory J neither of you nor yet of others^ i ThcfT. ii. S-)^* 

6, From what has been faid, we mav learn one reafon 
of the deci7y of religion at this day. FrofefTed minifters 
preach not a cr.iciiied Chrift. Morality, virtue, and good 
works, feparate from Chrift, were never fo much preached 
lip in Scotland as in cur day ; they are the darling theme 
of the majority of our minifters: yet, ftrange to think! 
wickednefs abounds amongft us perhaps as much as ever 
it did, iince Noah's flood. To what can this be owing? 
why. juft to this, that minifters neglect to preach Chrift 
crucified. Ignorance of, and unbelief in him, are the 
fprings of our apoftacy and degeneracy. He is the great 
ordinance of infinite v/ifdom for the fanftiflcatiQn of mens 


as the Matter of Gofpcl-pre aching. 341 

fouls, as the apoflle alTerts in the 30th verfc of the chap- 
ter where our text lies : and when human means are made 
ufe of, to the neglecl of God's inftitution, is it not rea- 
fonable to expect that he will blaft them, however fpcci- 
ous they may feem ? 

7. From this text we may fee, that the effed of the 
gofpcl upon hearers is not to be the rule of the minifter's 
conduct in preaching it ; though it be "di fiumhUng'block un- 
to fomc, it will be the w'lfdom of God unto others. It is in- 
deed very encouraging for a minifter to preach Chrift cru- 
cilied when he meets with fuccefs, or when the power of 
the Lord is prefent to heal: — encouraging to fow, when 
the Lord giveth the increafe ; to plant and water the vine- 
yard with wholefome inftructions, when providence hath 
formerly fmiled, and vouchfafed a rich crop ; when fe- 
cure fmners have been awakened, the ignorant inftructed, 
the profane reclaimed, and the proud humbled, according 
to the promife, And the loftinefs of man fh all be bowed dowtiy 
and the hau<^htinefs of men fhall be made low ; and the Lord 
alone fh all he exalted in that day : when drowfy faints have 
been roufed to their work ; when the weak have been 
flrengthened ; the wandering, directed ; the caft down, 
raifed up; the oppreifed, relieved; and the broken in heart, 
healed of their painful wounds. O how encouraging for 
a minifter to go on in his work, and to fow diligently 
bcfide all waters, when he fees that his labour is not in 
vain in the Lord I But though fuccefs is denied, and 
Chrift becomes tY^^Q favour of death unto fome ; tho' many 
are offended at the fimplicity of his gofpel, and the doc- 
trines of his crofs ; though minifters toil all night, and 
catch nothing; yet they muft not therefore give over, but 
proceed in their Lord's work, in obedience to the exprefs 
command. Go preach the gofpel unto every creature. Thus . 
did the apoftles ; We preach Chrift crucified ^ unto the Jews 
a flumbling'block^ arid unto the Greeks foolifhnefs. And thus 
did our Lord himfclf, in his perfonal miniftry ; for. Re 


34 2. Christ Crucified, recommended 

came unto his oijon^ and his civn received him not. Never- 
thekfs, Chrift, being faithful to God, who appointed him, 
i^ceived liis reward ; and fo fhall every faithful fteward 
in his houfe : Vvell done^ ^cod and faithful fervant^ enter 
thou into the joy of thy Lord. Let minifters therefore be 
faithful^ and they ihall have the crown. — What the great 
Prophet of the Church fays of himfelf, ihall be in fome 
meafure verified in every one of them, Though Ifrael be not 
gathered, yet fhall I he glorious in the eyes of the Lord ; and 
my God fp all be my flreiigth. 

We now conclude with a fliort addrefs ; firft to miniflers 
of the gofpel ; and then to my other hearers. 

1 {liall make no apology for any freedom I may ufe with 
my revei'end fathers and brethren, becaufe I have not the 
leaft fufpicion but they will fuffer the word of exhortation. 
It is fuiEcient to fay, that I have as much need of it as 
any, and would therefore defire to apply it to myfelf. 

Men, brethren, and fathers, you have heard fomewhat 
of your duty and likew^fe of your dignity (for a minifter's 
duty and honour are the fame ;) allow me to exhort you 

I. To y?//<^ a crucified Chrift. Whatever other know- 
ledge we may value ourfelves upon, and wafte our flrength 
in fearching after, this fliould be our main fludy. We 
ought to count all but lofs and dung^ for the excellency of the 
knowledge of Jcfus Chrifl, To excite you to ftudy him, 
confider whom you have for your fellow fludents : — all the 
prophets and patriarchs; i Pet. i. lo. Of which falvation 
the prophets have enquired and f arched diligently when they 
prophefied of the grace that fjould come unto you. — All the a- 
poftles. But why do I fpeak of prophets and apoftles? 
He is the ftudy of angels; i Pet. i. 12. Which things the 
angels defire to look into, Thefe glorious creatures, that 
know God much more fully than Adam did, that have 
his blefled face to read lectures in day and night, yet do. 

as the Matter of GofpeUpreacbing, 343 

with unremitting earneftncfs, profound adoration, and 
exquilite delight, ftoop down and contemplate the glories 
of the plan of faving fmners through Chrili- Jefus: yea, fo 
defirous are they to learn it, that they are content to go 
to the church's fchool, Eph. iii. 10. To the intent that now 
unto the pri?icipalities and powers^ in heavenly places^ might 
he known by the churchy the manifold wifdom of God, — We 
have not only the patriarchs and prophets, the apollles 
and angels ; but, which is ftill more, we have God the 
Father preaching Chrift crucified : This is my beloved Son^ 
hear ye hi?n, 

2. Preach Chrlfl: crucified: Preach the word ; be inflant 
in feajon^ and out of feafon. Preach not yourfelves, but 
Chrifl Jefus the Lord : determine to know nothing among 
your people, but Chrift. Let Ghrift be the diamond to 
fliine in all your fermons. Endeavour to fet him forth, 
in his love and lovelinefs, to your people ; to lead them 
to him as a fancluar}^ to protect them •, a propitiation, to 
reconcile them to God ; a treafure, to enrich them ; a 
phyfician, to heal them \ an advocate, to prefent them 
and their fervices with acceptance to his Father : as wif- 
dom, to counfel ; righteoufnefs, to juftify ; fanclification, 
to renew ; and redemption, to fave them. 

To enforce this exhortation, I fhall lay before you the 
'following confiderations : 

(i.) Confider, that this is what you have in commijfion ;: 
Mark xvi. 15. Go ye into all the worlds and preach the- 
gofpel to every creature. Preach him fully, faithfully, and 

(2.) Confider, that there is no other doctrine that will 
fave afoul^ and bring it to heaven ; for this is the mean of 
God's appointment for the falvation of finners: / am not 
afhamed of the gofpel of Chrift ; for it is the power of God 
unto falvation^ to every one that helieveth ; to the Jew frf}^ 
and alfo /t? the Greek, — The light ofriature is not the external 
mean or inftrument of falvation, how much foever it i* 

344 Christ Crucified y recommended 

extolled in our day; for it does not reveal Chrifl: and 
there is no Jalvation in another^ nor another 7ia?ne given under 
heaven among men whereby vje miift he faved^ hut the name of 
Jefus. — Neither is the law the outward mean of falvation , 
on the contrary, it is the minift ration of death and of condem- 
nation : but the gofpel is ; and how fliall the gofpel be ef- 
fectual unlefs it be known ? and by whom fhall it be made 
known, but by gofpel miniflers? Rom. x. 14. How Jhall 
they believe on him of whom they have not heard? and how 
Jhall they hear without a preacher f 

(3 .) Confider, that it is extremely dangerous not to preach 
Chrift crucified ; for, there is a woe denounced not only 
againft the miniller who does not preach, but againft the 
minifter who does not preach Chrift^ i Cor. ix. 1 6. — Tea^ woe 
is unto me^ fays the apoftle, if I preach not the gcfpeL Yea, 
we are not miniflers of Chrift, if we do not preach Chrifl, 
Mr. Trail, I think, fpeaks but the words of truth and 
fobernefs, when he fays, " I know no true minifters of 
Chrift, but fuch as make it their bufinefs in their cal- 
ling, to commend Jefus Chrift in his faving fulnefs of 
grace and glory, to the faith and love of men." 
(4.) Coniider, that it is very profitable and advantageous 
to preach Chrift crucified; for, in this way ^^v^\S\faveyour- 
felves^ as well as them that /j^^r you; 1 Tim. iv. 16. Take 
heed unto thy f elf and unto thy dodritie : continue in them; for 
in doing this^ thou fh alt both fave thyfelf and them that hear 


To the reft of my audience, I would likewife offer two 

I. Freach Chrijl crucified. What! may you fay, would 
vou have us invade the office of the miniftry ? No : but 
preach him with your lips and in your lives. With your 
iips^ by dropping good and holy fpceches about him. See, 
/if poiTible, that none of you appear at the judgment-feat 
without bringing fome Benjamin, or other with you. — 

as the Matter of Gofpel-pre aching. 34 j 

You have great encouragement in this work, from James 

V. 19, 20. Brethren^ if any of you do err from the truths and 
one convert h'lm^ let b'lm kno-iv^ that he which converteth a firi" 
ner from the error of his way^ flmll fave a foul from ckath^ and 
fjali hide a multitude of fins. But, alas ! this way of preach- 
ing is much out of fafhion with profeflbrs of religion.— 
Preach him likewife in your converfations : het your light fo 
fl/ine before men^ that they ?nay fee your good works ^ and glo^ 
rify your Father in heaven. The Hfe of the Chriilian fbould 
put the minifter's fermon in print. He Ihould preach 
that doctrine every day to the eyes of his neighbour^ which 
the minifter preaches once or twice a week in his ear$* 
You may not do with minifters fermons as David did with 
the water of the well of Bethlehem, fpill them on the 
ground ; for then, like the blood of Abel, they will cry 
to heaven againft you. 

2. In order that ye may preach a crucified Chrift, we 
would exhort you to receive him^ as he is given of God 
to you in the gofpel ; for you can never walk in him to 
any purpofe, till you have truly received him. It is our 
duty, as you have been hearing, to preach Chrift crucified ; 
accordingly that we may be found in the way of duty, 
we preach, we proclaim Chrift as the ordinance of God 
for your falvation : Behold we bring you good tidings of great 
joy^ which fJmll be to all penple ; for unto you is born a Savi' 
our^ which is Chrijl the Lord. Warranted by this faithful 
word of God, we make a free offer of him to you, and 
would have you believe the oiler with application to your- 
felves, and fay from the heart; It is a faithful faying^ and 
worthy of all acceptation^ that Chrift Jefus came into the 
world to fave ftnners^ of whom I am chief It is not to this 
or the other fort of perfons that we offer Chrift, but to 
all and every one of you, who are without God, without 
Chrift, and without hope in the world ; to Chriftlefs, 
gracelefs, and Godlefs fmners of the race of Adam, with- 
out exception ; it is to perfons in every time of life, youngs 

34<^ Christ Crucified recommended, &c. 

old, and middle aged ; to perfons of both fexes, and of 
every flation ; to fmners of every fort and of every iize, 
fecure or awakened ; mountain (fliall I fay) or mole-hill 
fmners : for gofpel-ofiers know no limitation ; Mark xvi. 
15. Go ye into all the zvorld^ and preach the go/pel to every 
creature ; that is. Go tell every rational foul of the race 
of Adam you (hall meet with, that here is a crucified 
Chrift for him ; and if he will take him and accept of his 
righteoufnefs, grace, and falvation, he fhall have him; 
for, God jo loved the worlds that he gave his only begotten 
Son, that WHOSOF.VER believeth on him Jhould not perijl?^ hut 
have everlafling life. Accordingly, we bring every one of 
you this good news, and would have you fet to your feal 
that God is true, by believing the record which he hath 
sriven of his Son : and this is the record that God hath g-ive?i 
to you eternal life ; ayid this life is in his Son* Be it known 
unto you^ therefore^ men and brethren^ that through this ?nan 
is preached unto you the forgivenefs of fins ; and they who be- 
lieve are juflified from all things ^ from which they could not be 
juftified by the law of Mcfes. 

In a word, we earneftly befeech you, to take God's 
gift off his hand; he is in good earneft in giving him: 
God fo loved the worlds that he gave his only begotten Son.— 
-For motives to engage you, confider how near he is re- 
lated to you ; he is bone of your bone, and flefh of your flefJ?. 
— Confider what you willy^^ in him ; you will fee God in 
him: My name is in him. You will fee all the mercy and 
grace of God in him : and all the perfections of God fliin- 
ing in him ; the Vv-ifdom, the power, the truth and faith- 
fulnefs of God illuftrioufly difplayed in him. — Confider 
what you will get by receiving Chrifl ; why, when you 
embrace him, you will get all things along with him that 
can make you happy in time and through eternity : Dur- 
able riches and righteoufnefs ; and an inheritance that is in- 
corruptible, iindefiled, and that fadeth not away, — But time 
would fail to tell what you will fee in Chrift, and get with 
him^ when you receive him. We preach Chrijl crucified. 

[ 347 ] 

Ar\ Attemp r to preach Cbrijl cruci/iecL 

I Cor. i. 23, 24. 

But 1VC preach Cbrijl crucified^ unto the Jeit^s a fium- 
bling-block^ and unto the Greeks Jooli/Jjnefs ; but unto 
them IV hie h are called^ both Jeivs and Greeks^ Chnjl 
the pouucr of God ^ and the ivifdoni of God, 

^ \ ^ H E work of this day confifts of two parts, namely, 
minifter's preaching and prefentiag Chrift to the 
faith of men in the word and facrament ; — and people's 
receiving and entertaining him as prefented therein. The 
words of our text contain both ; We preach Cbrijl crucified; 
this is the work of minifters : — to them that are called^ the 
power of God^ and the wifdom of God ; this is the work of 

Some time ago ^, I entered upon thefe words, when I 
obferved two things in them. i. Ihe duty "xnd Jludy of 
gofpel-minifters, We preach Chrift crucified, 2. The enter- 
tain?nent^ both good and bad, given a crucified Chrift, the 
minifter's theme, by the hearers: — to fome, he is a ft urn- 
bling-block and foolifhnefs ; to others, the power of God^ and 
the zviflom of God, Some upon his being propofed to them 
receive and embrace, approve of and truft in him for life 
and falvation; and others defpife and reject him, value him 
not, nor truft in him: — to fome he is the wifdom and power 
of God; to others Tl fcandal and foolijhnefs : and indeed, he 
muft be either the one or the other. He is either the 

* Alluding to the preceding Sermon, delivered at Glasgow, on 
the 8th of May, 1759. at the opening of a fynodical meeting This 
difcourfe was an A»^ioA-Sermon, preached at Kinrofs, in the month of 
July following, 

Xx 2 

34^ An Attempt to preach Chrijl crucified, 

wifdom of God, or down-right folly; — either the power 
of God, or mere v/eaknefs. 

But without refuming what was faid, for the explica- 
tion of this divifion, I proceed to the doclrifLe, which was 

*' That it is the exercife of every faithful minifter, to 
preach Chrift crucified ; who is to forne gofpel-hearers, 
?i Jlumhltng'block and foolijhnefs- ; — to others \\\q power of 
Gody and the wifdom cf God.^^ Our method was, 


I. To confider the faithful miniiler's duty and ftudy; 

• — to preach Chrijl crucified, 
IL The entertain?nent given to the minifter's fubjecl by 

gofpel-hearers ; — to fome, Chrift is a ftumhling-hlock 

2in6. foolifhnefs ; toothers, tht power of God^ and the 

'wifdom of God. And, 
III. Make fome application of the fubjecl, 

The firft Head was what I mainly infifted on formerly, 
•viz^ The duty and ftudy of gofpei-minifters, which is to 
preach Chrift crucified. At that time I enquired into the 
matter and manner of gofpei-preaching. But at prefent 
I propofe both to confider it as the aU or %mrk of a mini- 
fter, and to exemplify it in my own practice ; that is, after 
juft mentioning what it is for a minifter to preach Chrift, 
1 would humbly attempt to do fo. And I earneftly defire 
that you fct your hearts to embrace him. Lift up your 
heads ^ ye gates ; and be lifted iip^ ye everlafting doors ^ and 
the King of glory fhall come in. To preach Chrift crucified, is, 

i/?. To notify him fully to finners of mankind: hence 
Peter, when preaching Chrift, fays, Ac1:s iv. lo. Be it 
known to you all., arid to all the people of Ifrael^ that by the 
name of Jefus Chrifi of Nazareth^ whom ye crucified^ whom 
God raifed from the dead., even by him doth this man ft and 
here before you whole., A phyfician may perform a cure of 
bodily ficknefs though the patient know not what the 

An Attempt to preach Chrlft crucified. 349 

medicines he ufcth are ; but fick fouls mud know their 
remedy before they can receive any benelit from it : Luke 
i. 77. To crive knowledge of falvation unto kis people^ by the 
yemiffwn of fins. Our Lord muft be lifted up on the pole 
of the gofpel, as well as on the crofs, that by the eye of 
faith we may lopk at him and be healed ; Ifa. xlv. 2 2 , 
Look unto me J and be ye faved^ all the ends of the earth. It 
is Ufe eternal to know the only true God, and Jefus Chr'ijl whom 
he hath fent. But how fhall they call on him in whom they 
have net believed f arid how fhall they believe on him of whom 
they have not heard? and hozu fhall they hear without a 
preacher f This gieat work therefore lies at a minifter's 
door, to make a crucified Chrift fully known to iinners. 
-r-Accordingly, that we may be found in the way of our 
duty, we notify to you, 

I. That his pedigree is royal. His human nature fprung 
from antient kii)gs ; for he was made of the feed of 
David according to the flefh. Though at the time of his 
birth the houfe of David was not in its grandeur, but on 
the contrary call down to the duft ; yet it may be fafely 
faid he fprung from the greatell: family, and partook of 
the nobleft blood in the world. — As to his divine pedigree, 
he is the only begotten of the Father : a Son, yet from eter- 
nity ; without beginning of days, as well as end of life : 
a begotten Son ; yet he never began to be a Son, or to have 
a Father: a Son, yet of equal duration with his Father; 
a Son, but an ojily begotten Son, of another rank and order 
than angels and men : he is God's natural and eflential 
Son, in a peculiar manner ; begotten of him by eternal ge- 
neration : but as to the manner of this generation, it is a 
fecret which belongs to God and not to us ; a myftery to 
be adored by faith, not to be comprehended by reafon : 
Ifa. liii. 8. Who fhall declare his generation? There are my- 
fteries even in natural generation which we cannot refolve; 
Eccl. xi. 5. As thou knowefl not the way of the Spirit^ nor 
bozv the bones do frow in the womb of her that is with child: 

35^ -^^« Attempt to preach Chrijl crucified. 

how much more iliall we be at a loCs, when the far more 
inconceivable generation of Chrift is under our confidera- 
tion ! 

2. We notify to you, that Chrift crucified, as to his 
perfon, is God-man^ God's Son made man. O wonderful 1 
that finite and infinite fliould be joined in one, that he 
who maketh, fhould be one with the thins: he himfelf 
made; that he who is above all, fhould humble himfelf; 
that he who filleth all, ihould empty himfelf; that he who 
ruleth all, fliould become a fervant! this is a myfterj 
which infinitely tranfcends all the petty myfteries in Pagan 
religion. But it is a certain truth, that in our Ptedeemer's 
fingle and individual perfon there are two diftincl natures, 
Col. ii. 9- In h'lm dwelleth all the fulnefs of the godhead ho- 
d'lly ; that is, the whole Deity, and all the attributes of 
God dwell in Chrift perfonally, by virtue of the union of 
the divine with the human nature. The eternal Son of 
God did fo join the human nature to himfelf, that the 
perfon of the Word, which fubfifted before only in the di- 
vine nature, now fubfifts alfo in the human, which never 
had a diftinct perfonality of its own, but was taken into 
the divine perfon of the Son in Chrift.— Therefore, in him 
there are not two perfons, the one of man, the other of 
the Son of God ; but the divine nature is fo united to the 
human, that therein it fubfifts bodily, that is, perfonally; 
hence the Son cf David is called Jehovah our right eoufnefs^ 
and God hie (fed for ever, 

'^ . We notify to you, that the ferfonal glory of Chrift 
cinicified is funer-exceilent : John i. 14. We beheld his glory ^ 
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father^ full of grace 
and truth. His perfonal glory is fuch as darkens all cre- 
ated glory, and makes it appear as fackcloth ; / count all 
thfngs but lofs for the excellency of the knowledge of Chrift Je^ 
fus my Lord ; for whom I have fuffered the lofs of all things^ 
and do count them hut dung that I may win Chrijl : yea, it 
difgraces all other glory, and makes fuch as have feen it 

An Attempt to preach Chrijl crucifed. 351 

fay, as in 2 Cor. ill. 10. Even that which was made glori- 
ous hath no glory ^ by reafon of the glory which excelleth. It is 
fuch a glory as attracts all eyes to behold it and keeps 
them fixed on it. — His Father^ eyes from eternity have 
been, are, and to eternity will be fixed on him, as the 
object of his good pleafure; Matth. iii. 17. This is my he- 
loved Son^ in whom I am well pleafed. Pro v. viii. o^o. Then 
I was by him, as one brought up with him; and I was daily 
his delight^ rejoicing always before him : in the Hebrew it is, 
day^ day ; that is, one day after another. He is never 
fatisfied with looking at him. — The eyes of the Holy Spirit 
are fixed on him ; Zech. iii. 9. For behold the Jlone that I 
have laid before Jofhua ; upon one Jlone fh all be feven eyes ; 
behold^ I will engrave the graving thereof faith the Lord of 
hofls. — The eyes of all the angels in heaven are drawn 
after him, i Pet. i. 12. Which things the angels defire to 
look into. The word fignifies to floop down that we may 
take a narrow view of the object; probably in allufion to 
the pofture of the two cherubims over the mercy-feat, 
which were figured bending their faces towards it. — The 
eyes of all the faints, both above and below, are drawn 
after him as the objedl of their admiration and delight, 
and will be fixed on him for ever ; hence they are faid to 
be before the Lamb, Rev. vii. 9. — And that the eyes of all 
the world are not drawn after him is owino: to their not 
feeing his glory. It is fuch as communicates a glory to 
all the faints that behold it, and makes them all glorious 
within. There is a brighter luftre on their fouls than fhone 
ia Mofes's face when he had been converfing with God, 
as a man doth with his friend, Exod. xxxiv. 29, — 35. 
When his glory is partially feen by believers on earth, 
from it refults imperfect likenefs to him in holinefs, which 
is the glory of rational creatures ; yea, of God himfelf, who 
is glorious in holinefs. When his glory is fully feen by thofe 
in heaven, perfect conformity to him refulteth therefrom ; 
We flmll be like him, for we fhallfee him as he is, Juft ac- 

352 uin. Attempt to preach Chr'ijl crucified, 

cording to the meafures of clearnefs with which we fee 
the glory of Chrift, are the meafures of our conformity to 
him j 2 Cor. iii. i8. But we all with open face^ beholding as 
in a glafs the glory of the Lord^ are changed into the fame i- 
mage from glory to glory ^ even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 

4. We notify to you, that the office of Chrift crucified 
is that of Mediator betwixt God and man ; Heb. xii. 2 2, 
24. Ye are come — to Jefus the Mediator of the new covenant. 
Upon the entrance of fin, w^ar was declared betwixt heaven 
and earth, which would have iffued in the deflruclion of 
our world had not our Redeemer interpofed betwixt the 
two in order to make peace by the blood of his crofs : this 
arduous talk he voluntarily undertook, without the leaft 
force or compulfion, and fo was conftituted days-man or 
Mediator; i Tim. ii. 5. 'There is one Mediator betwixt God 
and men^ the man Chrift Jefus. In this office, as a prieft, 
he reprefents us to God ; and as a prophet and king, he 
reprefents God to us, that we may favingly know him; and 
he reprefents us to God, that we may be gracioully re- 
ceived by him. Our Lord Jeftis is the fecond perfon in 
the Trinitv, in the middle betwixt the Father and the 
Spirit: he is the only middle perfon betwixt God and 
man, being God and man in one perfon; and he is the 
middle officer inter\^ening betwixt God and man, to take 
away the mu.tual enmity fin hath occafioned, and to join 
them in an everlafi:ing friendfliip : hence, as one obferves,, 
Chrift Jefus as Mediator is Hill found in the middle. 

5. If ye enquire what are his relations? We anfwer. He 
ftands related both to heaven and earth. — He is related *to 
the family of heaven, and fo has the high eft poffible rela- 
tion. The kings of the earth are the creatures of God ; 
the angels of heaven are the fervants of God : but Chrift 
crucified is the Son of God; Heb. i. 5. Unto which of the 
angels faid he at any time^ Thou art my Son^ this day have 
I begotten theef There are chief princes among the angels; 
but to which of them perfonally, and on his own account^ 

An Attempt to preach Chnjl crucified. 3 j'3 

faid he, Thou ai ^ the Son of God ? He never laid fo to any 
of them, efpecially with the reafon of the appellation an- 
nexed, T'ins day have I begvttcn thee, — He is likewlfe relat- 
ed to the human race. He bears a common relation to 
all men, which is both natural and ollicial ! natural^ as 
he affumcd the nature of men, and not the nature of 
angels; Gal. iv. 4. God fent forth his Son made of a woman t 
official^ in regard he is the Saviour of the world, and all 
Adam's family are the objefts of his adminiftration ; To you y 
men^ I call ; and my voice is- to the fens of m.en. He has 
a nearer relation to the clecl, being their surkty and re- 
prefentative, who undertook to do all for them, when 
they could do nothing for themfelves ; Heb. vii. 22, By 
fo much was Jefus made a surrty of a better teflament* And 
he has yet a nearer relation to believers, beiilg. their affec- 
tionatc brother; Heb. ii, 11. lie is not af:aj7ied to call 
them brethren; their everlafting father, without inter- 
ruption or end; Ifa. ix. 6.: their head of government, 
of influence, and honour; Col. i. 18. And he is the head 
of the hody^ the church : their loving husband > hence the 
church is ftiled, the bride^ the La?nb's wife : their antient, 
firm, and open-hearted friend, who reveals the very fe- 
crets and counfels of his heart to them; John xv. 15. 
Henceforth I call you ?iot fervants^ for thefervant knoweth not 
what his Lord doth^ but I have called you friends ; for all 
things that I have heard of 7ny Father^ I have made known 
V unto you. In a word, he flands in all relations to them, 
and hath the love of all relitions to them ; the faithful 
love of a friend ; the carefal love of a brother ; the pro- 
vident love of a father; the compaQionate love of a mo- 
ther; and the intimate Xo^'z of a hufband : yea, his love 
is greater than the love (u' all relations put together; no 
fuch friend as Chrill, who would die to make them the 
friends of God ; no fuch brother as Chrift, who makes all 
liis brethren heirs togetlier v/ith him ; no fuch hufbimd as 

Y V ' 

354 -^^ Attempt to preach Chr'ijl crucified, 

Chrift, who will love his fpoufe though ihe play the harlot; 
Jer. lii. i. Thou haj} played the harlot with many levers, yet 
return again to me, faith the Lord, 

6, We nptify to you, that all the qualifications, which 

render one amiable, meet in Chrift crucified. For 

beauty ; — He is fairer than the children oftnc^i, A carnal eye 
indeed, that looks no farther than the veil of his flefli, 
and fees him a man of for rows and acquainted with griefs^ 
his vifage being more marred than any man, can fee no beauty 
in him why lie fhould be defired ; but the eye that is fpi- 
riturJIy enlightened, fees him to be white and ruddy, the 
chief eft among ten thoufand ; his countenayice as Lebanon, ex- 

cellent as the cedars. For wifdom ; — All the treafures of 

wijdom and knowledge are hid in him : fo wife, that he has 
outwitted all the poUcy of hell and earth ; taken the wife 
in their own craftinefs, and turned the counfel of the froward 
headlong: and no wonder, for the wifdom of men and 
devils is not match for the fooUfljnefs of God ; and how fhall 
it contend with the wifdom of Godf i Cor. i. 25. The 

foGHfI;nefs of God is wifer -than men, For riches ; there is 

none like him; his riches are, without a figure, unfearchablc, 
Eph. iii. 8. Abraham's fervant, when feeking a wife for 
his mafter's fon, fald, that his mafter was very rich, and 
ha^l only one fon, and that he was heir of all : fo our Lord 
Jefus, is God's only vSon, and heir of all; fo that what- 
ever we want or can Vv'ant, will be abundantly fupplied 

by him. For power ; — He is the man ofGocPs right-band, 

whom he hath made flrong for himfelf ; fo that there is no- 
thing too hard for him: he is the mighty God; and what 
then can ftand in his way? He is a man of war ; in whofe 
hand the roaring lion is nothing : he can tear him in pieces 

as eafily as a lion teareth a kid. For authority ; — All 

power in he as en and in earth is given unto him. Things in 
heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth : yea, 
every knee inuft bow to him, and every tongue muft confefs that 
Jefus Chrifl is Lord, to the glory of God tht Father * In 

An Attcjnpt to preach Chrijl crucified. 355* 

courage and refolution he has no match ; he accompliilied 
the purchafe, and flill carries on the applrcation of redemp- 
tion in faving his people, and fubduing his enemies, with 
determined brayery ; Ifai. xlii. 4. He fl) all not fail ^ nor he 

difcouraged^ til! he hath Jet judgment hi the earth. In 

affability; there is none 'like him, whether with refpecl to 
God or men : with refpecl to God^ he frankly and chear- 
fully entertains hisi propofals ; John vi. 38. For I came dowrl 
from heaven^ ?iot to do 7nine own will, but the will of him that 
fent me: w^th refpecl: to 7nen, he kindly and courteoufly 
receives the worll of finners that employ him to fave them j. 
Him that cometh unto me, fays he, / will in no wife cafl out. 

Hq is a mirror of meeknef , Though he was fmitten 

both by God and man, and endured the wrath of both at 
once, he never entertained a refentful thought, nor ut- 
tered a repining word; Ifa. liii. 7. He was oppreffed, and 
he was afflided, yet he opened not his mouth ; he is brought 
ns a Lamb to the f laughter^ and as a fheep before her fJjearers 

is dumb, fo he openeth 7iot his mouth, In a word, all ciua- 

Ufications centre in him; Song v. 16. His mouth is mo ft 
fweet ; yea, he is altogether lovely. Imagine all the beauti- 
ful accomplifhments and lovely excellencies that ever the 
world faw or heard of to be united in one perfon ; imagine 
that innumerable more than ever eye faw, ear heard, or 
heart conceived, were added to them ; imagine thefe, and 
infinitely more than can be imagined, to meet and fhine 
in one perfon, and this is Chrift ; this is our beloved, and 
this is our friend : this is Chriil crucified whom we preach. 
7. Be it known to you, that as to his fiate and condi- 
tion, Chriil crucified has had experience both of the lowe/i 
and the highefi ; and hence he is faid both to have de- 
fcended and afcended; Eph. iv. 9. Now that he is afcend- 
ed, what is it but that he alfo defended, firfl into the lower 
parts of the earth f He that defended is the fame alfo that af- 
cended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. 
He defcended for fome time fo low as to come where his 

Yy 2 

35^ -^^^ -Attempt to preach Chrijl crucified, 

people were, even in this world : :ind he came not from 
heaven only, but from the choiceil: place in it, his Father's 
bofom, into our world, and pitched his tent among us ; 
^he Word w.ts inade flcp^ and dwelt among us. He de- 
scended fo low, that he was made what his people were : 
they were flefli and blood-, and for their fakes he would 
be flelli and bipod too. This was one of the loweft fteps 
of his humiliation, it being more for God to become man, 
than for man to die : For af much as the children are partakers 
cfflejh and bloody he alfo hlnijelf likewife took part of the fame. 
They were naturally and necelfarily under the law ; and 
he was made under the la%v to redeem them. Though he was 
no debtor to the law, as a covenant, either as to its pre- 
cept or penalty; yet he bowed his bleffed head, that that 
heavy yoke might be wreathed about his neck for us. And 
furc the law never had fuch a fubject before, as its own 
franker and enforcer; therefore it is faid, he inagmfied the 
law. They were finners, and he was mads fin for them^ 
that they mi^ht be made the rig-hteoufnefs of God in him. There 
was no fin in him inherently, but God made him fin by 
imputation ; not only tl facrijice for fm, buty?;; itfelf ; for 
he was made that fm he knew not^ and that fin which is 
cppofite to righteoufnefs : He bare our fns in his own body 
en the tree^ the curfed and ignominious tree, which is there- 
fore become a tree of life to us. He defcended fo low 
that he went where his people Ihould have gone, ^md taken 
up their eternal lodging, even to hell ; though not by local 
motion, yet by imjnenfe fuflering, his foul lying under 
the v/rath of God : he could not indeed go lower than he 
went. The light of the world vv^as under a cloud; the 
health of the world was under ficknefs; the life of the 
world was under the power of death ; the Saviour of the 
world was, for fometime, in a manner, loft himfelf. 

But now the fcene is altered ; he is now as high as ever 
he w^as low: while on earth he \v2iS f corned of 7nen^ and de» 
fpif'd of the people ^ uow be is adored by angels; thea his 


An Attempt to preach Chrijl crucified. 357 

name was reproached ; now God hath given bun a name a- 
bovc every name. The glory to which the human nature 
of Chrifl is now advanced, is not indeed ablolutely infi- 
nite, becaufe this is pecuhar to the divinity and is incom- 
k municable ; but its exaltation and glory is abfolutely above 
all the creation of God \ hence God is faid to have ra'ifed 
him from the dead^ and fet him at his own right-hand^ far 
above all principalities and powers^ and mighty and dominl^ 
ons^ and every name that is named ; not only in this worlds 
hut alfo in that which is to come ; and hath put all things 
under his feet. He hath fuch a glory that could a man fee 
him fitting in heaven, and all the angels about him, he 
would prefently know him, and fay that he is the Son of 
God ; We beheld his glory ^ the glory as of the only begotten of 
the Father : yea, his glory is not only abfolutely above, 
but of another kind and nature than any other creature is 
capable of; for it is founded on the union of his perfon: 
n privilege which no other creature can pretend to, or be 
partaker of to eternity. What is the reafon, think you, 
-that our Lord puts fo much honour upon poor worthlefs 
creatures under his feet ? Why, he is fo high in dignity, 
that no advancement of rank can commend any creature 
to him ; and therefore, he takes them that are under his 
feet, poor finners, and loves them heartily, treats them 
familiarly, makes them his queen, and fets them at his 
own right-hand. Therefore be not difcouraged, though 
ye be laid ever fo low in the-fenfe of your own vilenefs, 
for this makes no difference to Chrift: he hath none to 
match with, but thofe that are under his feet; he muft 
either marry perfect flaves, whom he might tread on, or 
have no fpoufe at all, which he will never fubmit to ; for 
his fpoufe is his fulnefs; — The fulnefs of him that filleth all 
in all. This makes the grace of Chrift the more exceed- 
ing glorious. Therefore the apoftle, Eph. ii. 5, 6. when 
recounting the glorious privileges of believers, as being 
quickened together ivith Chrijl ^ and raifed up together^ and 

358 An Attempt to preach Chr'ijl crucified. 

made to Jit together In heavenly places^ is careful to put them 
in mind, By grace ye are faved. 

8. Be it known to you, that Chrift crucified hath per- 
formed fuch glorious and zvo7iderfid exploits^ as none could 
have done but himfelf. In accomplilhing the work of our 
redemption he had many enemies to encounter ; fuch were 
the law, fin, Satan, the w^orld, death, the grave, and hell. 
The law brought its curfe on him, and fin its guilt : Satan, 
his malicious enemy, put forth all his power againft him ; as 
did alfo the world, which hated him, becaufe he teftified 
ag*ainfl it : death he alfo tailed, and lay for fome time 
under the power of the grave ; and he was not unaiTaulted 
by the pains of hell when he bore our iniquities. But he 
abfolutely conquered them all in the iffue. — As to the law^ 
he has fully anfwered all its demands in the room of an 
elect company; a work none elfe could have done! a weight 
none elfe could have born ! a debt none elfe could have 
paid ! yet he did it fo completely in his birth, life, and 
death, that he got up his difcharge. — As to fin ^ he gave 
it a deadly wound at once upon the crofs, fo that its after- 
deftru<^ion, in an ele6t company, is as much fecured as 
his own death was, by his being faftened to the crofs ; 
Rom. vi. 6. Our old man is criicijied with him^ that the 
body of fin might be deflroyed ; that henceforth we fhould not 
ferve fin, — As to deaths he encountered it, and by dying 
himfelf was its deftruclion ; Hof. xiii. 14. I will ranfoni 
them from the -power of the grave ; I will redeem them from 
death : death ! I will be thy plagues ; grave ! I will be 
thy deflrudion, — As to Satan, he engaged him as a tempter 
in the wildernefs, where he had the advantage of the 
ground ; yet he foiled him : on the crofs he engaged him 
as a roaring lion, and fpoiled and made an open fliew of 
him : he dealt with this implacable enemy of God's gloiy, 
and the falvation of an elecl company, as the Roman con- 
querors with their enemies; he took him along with him 
when he went to heaven in chains, tied, as it were, to 

An Attempt to preach Chr'ijl crucified. 359 

his chariot wheels, making a fhew of him to the citizens 
of heaven, and then remanded him to prifon till the term 
of his final doom ihouid come. — As to the worlds he has 
vanquifhed both its fmiling and its frowning things ; Be 
of (rood comfort^ fays he, / have overcome the world, — As to 
hell^ he hath fhut its gates, and quenched its flames, fo 
that none of his chofen ones fhall ever be hurt in that place 

of torment. May w^e not Xh^wfing unto the Lord a new 

fong^ feeing he hath done fuch 7narvellous things f His right 
hand and his holy arm hath gotten him the victory. 

9. We notify to you his names. He is called, the Lord 
Jefus Chrijl, He is Jesus : this name is a faving name. 
He is Christ ; which fignifies, the anointed: and, indeed, 
the favour of his good ointments is fuch, that when a 
poor foul has once got a fcent of it, he can never forget 
it ; but the remembrance of it is refrefhinsr and revivino: 
to him ever after : 7he deftre of our fouls is towards thy name^ 
and the remembrance of thee. His name is the Lord, and fo 
a powerful and protecting name ; Prov. xvii. 11. "The name 
of the Lord is a flrong tower ; the righteous runneth unto it 
and is fafe. His name is Jehovah-tzidkenu, the Lord 
our righteoufnefs, ajuftifying name: Jehovah-ropiiecha; 
which imports his healing all our difeafes : Jehovah-sham- 
ma; a frefent help in the time of trouble: Jehovah-jireh; 
therefore they that fear him fhall not want any good thing: 
Jehovah-nissi, the Lord my banner; a name that imports 
fhelter : he giveth a banner to them that fear him, that they 
may difplay it becaufe of truth. A number of his names, 
all of them rich of meaning and comfort, you have, Ifai. 
ix. 6. His name fhall be called^ Wonderful^ Counfellor^ the 

mighty Gody the everlafling Father ^ the Prince of peace, 

But, who can fliew forth all his praife ? 1 go on to 

idly^ In the next place, that to preach Chrift is to offer 
him freely unto iinners. After this manner did Peter 
preach him. Ads ii. 38, 39. Then Peter faid unto them^ Re- 


360 An Attempt to preach Chrift crucified. 

pent and he baptized^ every one of you^ in the name of Jefux 
CbriJ}^ for the remijjion of fins ^ and ye fhall receive the ^ift 
of the Holy Ghojl : for the promife is unto you^ and to your 
children^ and all that are afar off^ even as many as the Lord 
our God flndl call. He excepts not the very murderers of 
Chrift, nor thofe that mocked him when he was hanging 
on the crofs in our room. " Ye killed the Saviour jufi 
now, would he fay ; yet to you is the word of fahation 
fent : ye lately killed the Promifer ; yet the pronufe is to 
youJ' — In the fame manner did Paul preach Chrift cru- 
cified J Acts xiii. 385 39. Be it known unto you therefore^ men 
and brethren^ that through this man is preached unto you the 
forgivenefs of fns : and by him all that believe are jufi fied 
from all things^ from which ye.coidd not be juflified by the law 
of Mofes, — Yea, what is much more, in this manner Chrift 
preached himfelf, when the great convocation was ; John 
vii. 37. In the lajl day ^ that great day of the feafl^Jefus flood 
'' and cried^ faying^ If any man thirfi^ let him come unto me 

and drink. He that believeth on me^ as the fcripture hath 
faid, out of his belly fl: all flow rivers of living water. 

Accordingly, we in his name, and ho by us, howevef 
unworthy, offer a crucified Chrift to every one of you. 
We know that without an exertion of almighty power ye 
cannot embrace the offer ; but feeing he ufes to make the 
o:eneral tender of himfelf the mean of Q^ainino^ fouls, we 
Ihall ufe this mean, hoping that the divine blefling will 
attend it, and make it effeclual. We have great reafon 
to fear too, that many of you will flight the offer. He 
muft, however, be preached, though he be a ftumbhng- 
block to many, becaufe he is Chrili; the wifdom and the 
power of God to others. Whether ye will hear, or whe- 
ther ye will forbear ; whether ye will receive or rejecl, he 
muft be offered ; for thus runs our commiflion, Goy preach 
the (Tofpel to every creature ; that is, make ofl^er of me to 
all without diftindion, even to the worft of finners : — ^to 
every creature, be he ever fo wicked, though he has fin- 

An Attempt to preach Chrljl cruc'ified. 3^1 v 

tied himftlf into the likcnefs of a beaft, or of a devil . tell 
liim, if he will but come and take me I will be his for all 
the purpofes of falvation. — We offer you then a crucijied 
Cbrijl^ the gift of God, the gift of gifts, being the Fa- 
ther's Fellow, w^hom, if ye knew, ye would not refufe. — 
We offer you a whole Chrift: — we offer you himfelf^ who \ 

is more than ten thoufand worlds j yea, with whom all 
deiirable things are not to be compared, to be yours cer- 
tainly, intimately, and eternally ; to be your God, your 
Saviour, your prophet, prieft, and king; take him, and 
you will be able to fay more than if you could fay. All 
the treafures of the earth are mine; all the kingdoms of 
the world and the glory of them are mine. — We offer you 
his bloody which is of more worth than all corruptible 
things: take this invaluable gift by faith; and tho' the 
wrath of God be kindled againfl you, it will quench it ; 
though the jufticc of God be incenfed againft you, his 
blood will fatisfy it ; though heaven be iliut upon you, 
his blood will open it : We have holdnefs to enter into the ho* 
I'lejl by the blood of J ejus, — We offer you his righteoufnefs : 
take it, and you need not be afraid nor affiamed to ffand 
in the fiHit of God: this robe will hide all your deformi- 
ties ; whereas they who want it will one day call to the 
mountains to fall on them, and to the hills to cover them, 
rather than appear before him that fits upon the throne. 
— We offer you that peace and comfort which flow from 
his prefence; and the w^ell-fpring of heavenly joys fhall 
flow into your fouls : / ivill covie in^ fays he, and fup with 
him and he with me. — We offer you his kingdo?n :ind glory: 
take him while ye are on earth ; and hereafter ye fhall 
hear that fweet invitation addreffed to yourfelves. Come ye 
hleffed of my Father^ inherit the kingdom prepared for you from 
the foundation of the world. — In fliort, wx offer you all that 
he is, all that he has, all that he has done, and is doing, 
fo far as they are communicable, and you are capable of 
them. Surely ye can crave no more \ ye can \n&x for no 

Z z 

3^2 An Attempt to preach Chrift criicifed, 

more, for this is all your falvation, and ought to be all 
your deiire.— -And we offer you d\\ freely. The wares ex- • 
pofed to fale are indeed valuable ; but there needs be no 
diiference about the price, for it is nothing: Ho! every ane 
that thirjleth ; come ye to the waters : and be that hath ?ia 
money Jet him come, and buy wine and milk without money and 
without price. Indeed, when our Lord came to purchafe 
the mercies contained in the gofpcl-offer, the market was 
very high ; but when ye come to receive them, the mar- 
ket is wonderfully fallen : that which coil him dear, ye 
]uav have for notliing^e It is ofood he was at the market 
before you, for lie hath exceedingly cheapned the com- 
lUodities : Let him that hath no money come^ and buy without 
money and without price. 

And it is not to one, or two, or a few of you, that we 
ofier a crucified Chrift ; but to all and every one of you 
jn particular : Vi-hofoever will let him come^ and take the wa^ 
ter of life freely, — We offer him toyou you7ig folk ^ thebreafts 
of whofe virginity the world has not yet prefled : take him, 
and ye fhall have the firft and the flower of his love. — We 
offer him to you ?niddle aged people, with whom worldly 
buiinefs is like to fliulHe out the bufmefs of eternity: take 
him, and though ye have fpent your youth in vanity, ye 
fliall now inherit fubftance. — AVe offer him to you old peo' 
pie J who are bowing down to meet the grave: take him, 
and though your bones be full of the fms of your youth, 
they fliall not ly down with you in the duft. — We offer 
him to you atheijh, who are without God in the world: 
take him, and you fliall believe both his being and his 
bounty in Chrift. — We offer him to you, grofJy ignorant 
perfons: take him, who is given for a light to the Gentiles y 
and you fliall iiot only have heads, but hearts to know 
the Ij)rd. You are fitting in darknefs, and in the region 
of the fliadow of death : but receive our Lord Jefus, and 
you fiiall neither remain in fin, the work of darknefs ; nor 
under Satan, the prince of darknefs \ nor under wrath. 


An Attempt to ptyach Chrijl crnajied, 363 

the fruit of darkncfs ; nor near licll, the pliicc of d;irknefs, 
— We olier liiin to you Liypocrltcs^ who are pleafing your- 
felves with external duties, and fair fhcws of devotion, 
when your hearts are not right with God: take liiin, and 
your hearts ihall be found in God's teilimonies ; he loves 
truth in the inward parts, and he will put it there: A neio 
heart aljo tai/i I phe yon. — We offer him to you, ye openly 
profane^ who have the devil's mark in your foreheads, and 
are going on in a courfeof fcandalous enormities, declaring- 
your lin as Sodom and hiding it not: take him, and you 
will get a happy turn from lin, to holinefs ; from hell, to 
heaven ; and from Satan, to God: Tho^ your fins he as fcarlet^ 
he %v ill make tljem white as fnovj, — We offer him to you luke- 
warm and ind'ijf'erent perfons: take him, and God, inilead 
of fpewing you out of his mouth into the, pit, as he threa- 
tens, will take you into his bofom, into his heart. — A¥e 
offer him to you witches and wizzards^ if there be any 
fuch: take him, and your formal covenant with hell fliall 
be broken, and you fliall be joined to the Lord in an ever- 
lafting covenant : thus he hath done with others of your 
fiamp ; for example, Manaileh. — Vv^e offer him to you, 
prayerlejs perfons ; for he is found of them that fouQ'ht him 
not : take him, and ye will be made to pour your prayer in- 
to his bofom; and the heart of thofe that feek the Lord fhall 
live for ever. — W^e offer him to you that ne<^lect and flizht 
gofpel ordinances : take him, and ye fliall know by experi- 
ence, that a day in his courts is better than a thoufand. — 
We offer him to you who are filled with grofs and unwor- 
thy conceptions of God : take him, and ye lliall have the light 
of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jefus Chrifl. 
— We offer him to you profane curfers and [wearers^ who 
have filled your mouths with oaths and execrations : take 
him, and though God, in the law, has threatened not to 
hold you guiltlefs, all manner of fin and blafphemies fiall be 
'forgiven unto you : take him, and your curling iliau be turn- 
ed into blefling. — W^e offer him to ^qm falfe fwearers^ who, 

" Z ? 2 

3^4 -^^ Attempt to preach Chr'ijl crucified. 

upon oath have aiTerted as a truth what you knew to be 
a he: take him, -^wd you /hall /wear in truth^ in righteouf- 
7iefs^ and in judgment ; for thus runs his promife, To me e- 
"cery knee ^fh all bozi\ and e^jery tongue fh all Jw ear. — We offer 
him to you covenant-breakers : take him, and you are im- 
mediately within the bond of a covenant which ftands fad 
with him. — We offer him to you unworthy communicants : 
take him, and though thou haft been guilty again and a- 
gain of ciucifying the Lord of glory, the blood thou haft 
filed will fave thee, thcu^'h your condemnation has been 
fealed up with many feals, which no creature is able to 
open, yet the Lanrib who is worthy will do it: remember 
that many of thefe who crucified Chrift at Jerufalem wxre 
faved by the blood which they ^zd. — We ofler him to 
\OMfabbath-hreakers^ whether you break it by omitting the 
duties required o'i you, or by a carelefs performance of 
them ; or by thinking your own thoughts, fpeaking your 
own words, or doing your own aclions : take him, and 
ye fhali be made to call the Sabbath a delight^ the holy of 
the Lord honourable ; and you fhall honour him and be 
yourieif made happy, by being in the Spirit on the Lord's 
flay, — AVe offer hin\ to you undid if ul parents- and children^ 
wafers and fervants : take him, and your days fall be long^ 
uieful, and happy, in the land which the Lord your God giv' 
eth you. — Wt olTer him to you inurdcrers ; either in thought, 
by hatred; in word, by backbiting ; or, in deed, by actually 
embruing your hands in the blood of your neighbour: take 
him, and he will deliver you from, blood-guiltinefs. — We 
offer him even to vou who have been intentionally felf mur- 
derers : Do your fives no harm; but believe in the Lord Jefus 
Chrif and ye fall be faved, — We offer him to you unclean 
perfons, v/ho have made fhip-wieck of your chaftity : take 
him, and ye fliall be wafen. fandified., and jufifed in the 
7iame of the Lord Jefs^ and by the Spirit of our God, — We 
offer him to you drunkards : take him, and though ye be 
charL'eabie with voluntary madnefs, though ye have fet 

An Attempt to pnach Chrijl crucifed, 36^; 

yourfelvcs below the beafts that perifli, he will receive you, 
Hiid inllead of being filled with wine, wherein is excefs, ye 
ihall be iiiled with the Spirit; yea, with all the fulnefs of God, 
— We offer him to you thieves^ robbers^ and unjuft dealers : 
take him, and the grace of God in him will make you 
righteous, with refpecl to your neighbour ; as well as re- 
ligious, with refpect to God- — We offer him to you liars: 
take him, and though you now are oi your father the devil^ 
who w^as a liar from the beginnings ye fhall become the 
children of God. — We offer him to every one in debt^ e- 
very one that is in dijlrefs^ and every one that is difcon- 
tented: take him, and he will be your protection from the 
arrells of the law, and a fatisfying portion to your fouls. 
After all, there may be many of you we cannot find 
out ; but he is offered even to you : take him, and your 
name iliall be called, Sought out^ and not forfaken. We are 
bid go out quickly to the ftreets and lanes of the city, and 
bring in the poor and the maimed, the halt and the blind; 
yea, as many as v/e can find ; and we have effayed to do as 
commanded. Yet after all, there are many we cannot find 
a name to ; and therefore we muft conclude with this, that 
yet there is room. After all who have been invited ; yet 
there is room for you, be what you will, if ye are men 
and women. — There is room in God's covenajit for you. 
Indeed, there is a fealed copy of it laid up in heaven, un- 
der Chrift's cuflody, bearing the names of all that fhall 
come to him by faith: but there is likewife an open copy 
of it fent down to finners upon earth leaving a blank for 
any of Adam's race that pleafes to fubfcribe; 'To you^ men^ 
I call, — There is room in his hoj//e for you. Multitudes 
have come out of Satan's family into the family of God ; 
but after all the lioufe is not full, Luke xiv. 22. — There 
is room in his hand for you ; All his faints^ fays Mofes, 
are in thy hand: and they are a number that no man can 
number; but as numerous as they are, his hands are not 
fo fuUj but yet thcie is room; therefore he ftands with 

66 An Attempt to preach Chrljl crucified. 


out-ftretched arms to receive you. — There is room in his 
heart for you, if you will take his word for it ; and you 
/ will not, I truft, venture to impute inlincerity to a God 
of truth : H'lm that comet Ij unto me I wUl In no 'wife caft out. 
There is nothing a poor convinced fmner is more foUici- 
. tous about than to know the heart of Chrift towards him; 
and there is nothinii: that Satan labours more to conceal 
than Chrift's good-will. Well, ye need no^t queftion that 
his thoughts towards you are thoughts of good, for this 
is his word, Fia-y is not in me, 

'^dly^ To preach Chriil is ftrongly to frefs the acceptance 
of him upon fmners of mankind: hence the apoftle fays, 
2 Cor. v. 2 0. Now J then we are amba[[adors for Chrift^ as 
though God did befeech you by us : we pray you in Chriff* s 
flead^ be ye reconciled unto God, Our commiilion is not only 
to offer him to you, but to clofe a bargain betwixt him 
and you; 2 Cor. xi. 2. / have efpcufed you to one husbandy 
that I may prefent ycju as a chafe virgin to Chrif. Accord- 
ingly, having offered him unto you, without exception 
. of perfons, we would prefs him on you. When he is of- 
fering himfelf, we befeech you let faith fay, I accept of 
him for wifdom, to me a fooliCi iinner ; for righteoufnefs, 
to me a guilty fmner ; for fanclilication, to me a polluted 
fmner: and, in order to engage you to comply, I offer 
the followino; confiderations. 

I. Connder the ?nifery of a Chriftlefs ftate. It is, Sirs, 
no great pleafure to us to ufe this argument. It muft, in 
fome refpecls, be difagreeable to take men by the throats, 
to arrefi: them' in the name of the great God, to hale them 
to prifon, and fhut them up under the law, that they may 
be in cafe to rehih Chrift's pardon, and the proclamation 
which, as preachers of Chrift crucified, we make of liberty 
to the captives, and the opening of the prifon doors to them 
that are bound. We would defire to know nothing, to 
preach nothing among you, but Chrift and him crucified ; 
but feeiag we muft come with the hammer of the law^ 

An Attejnpt to preach Chr'ijl crucified. 3^7 

and break all your bones in pieces, that fo ye may be ne- 
ccflitated to come to him, Ik it known unto you, that 
your natural ftate, being a Chriftlefs one, is very deplor- 
able. While you are without him, ye are under the com^ 
viands of the law, and without ftrength to obey them: ye 
are under the curfe of the law, and without redemption 
from it ; for it is Chrifl alone that redeems us from the curfe 
of the law : ye are under the gtalt of fin ; for it is only in 
Chrify and through his bloody that we have redemption^ e^cen 
the for give fiefs of fins : ye are under the filth of fm, and de- 
ftitute of holincfs ; for, we all are as an unclean thing^^ and 
cur right eoifneffes are as filthy rags : ye are under the fewer 
of Satan, who rules in the hearts of the children of difobedi- 
ence : ye are under tht fentence of condemnation, John iii. 
18. He that believeth not^ is condemned already : ye are un- 
der the wrath of God, without mercy ; for, He that be- 
lieveth not^ fhall not fee life ; but the wrath of God abideth on 
him: and ye are upon the borders of hell ; for, the wicked 
fjjall be turned into hell^ and all the nations that forget God* 
-^Can there, upon the whole, be a more miferable con- 
dition than yours? Delay not to receive our Lord Jefus, 
and then it fliall be well with you, who are now in the 
midfl pf miferies and woes : then ye fhall be dead to the 
law, and married to another ; then ye fhall be dead in- 
deed to lin and alive to God ; then Satan ihall be caft out, 
and the prince of this world judged ; then iliall the curfe 
be turned to a blelling ; then iliall the wrath of God, 
which now hangs black and difmal over you, clear up in- 
to beams of mercy ; then iliall the fentence of condemna- 
tion give place to a gracious pardon ; then ye iliall be 
brought from the confines of hell, to the fuburbs of hea- 
ven and glory. 

2. Confider the necejfity of receiving the Lord Jefus. 
It is a ihamc to our corrupted natures, that there ihould 
be any need to ufe this argument ; but feeing it muft be- 
ufed, confider, that if a crucified Chrifl be rcfufcd, perifh 

368 An Attempt to preach Chri/i crucified, 

ye muft, and perllh ye ihall to eternity ; for there is na 
falvat'wn in another^ nor another nams given under heaven 
among men whereby ye mujl he faved, Wonder not at this \ 
for, from whom liiould lalvation come, but from Chriil? 
— Should it come from yourfelves i^ that is impoflible. 
Being darknefs, how fh^ll ye illuminate yourielves ? 
Being without ftrength, how iliall ye help yourfelvts ? 
Being enmity, how ihall ye reconcile yourfelves?— Shall 
relief come to you from the creatures ? No : neither man 
nor angel was able to fuilain the character of Saviour of 
a loft world : neither of them was able to perfoT m the work 
which belonged to that office ; to fatisfy the offended ju- 
ftice of God ; remove his wrath and curfe ; conquer fin, 
death, hell, and all the enemies of your falvation- this 
was the trial of the love of God to men. Our cafe was 
hopelefs and helplefs, as to all the creation of God ; But 
God fo loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son^ that 
ivhofoever believeth in him Jhould not ferijh^ hut have everlafl' 
ing life. — Shall it come from God himfelf, while Chrift is 
neglected ? this is impoffible ; for God hath laid out all the 
riches anci treafures of his wifdom, love, and grace, in 
our falvation by Chriil Jefus. In him he hath manifeft- 
ed all the glorious properties of his nature, without ex-* 
ception ; and in him he is well-pleafed: fo that there is 
not fo much as one of them that can ihew the leaft kind^ 
nefs to fuch as reje6l Chrift ; There remaineth no more facri-^ 
fee for fin. You rauft therefore either take this way, or 
perifti for ever. 

3. Confider the horrible ingratitude that there is in 
flighting, or not receiving a crucified Chrift given unto 
you. Is it not the height of ingratitude to flight him 
that would relieve us ? to wound him that would heal 
us? to diflionour him that would ennoble us? God the 
Father was not backward to fend his Son ; God the Son 
was not backward to come and favc us ; but we are back- 
ward to receive him, who is God's falvation to the ends of 

An Attempt to preach Chrijl crucified. 369 

the earth, Sligliters of Chrifl crucified are the vilefl and 
moil: ungrateful beings in all the creation of God. The 
devils themfelves cannot equal them, becaufe our Lord 
was never tendered unto them. This is a fin peculiar to 
men. The lin of the devil, as one fays, is in mahce and 
oppofition to knowledge, above what the nature of man 
is capable of in this world; yet men's fins mufl, in fome 
refpecl, be more criminal than that of the devil, other- 
wife God would not give them their eternal portions with 
the devil and his angels ; and the peculiarly criminal cir- 
cumftance in the fm of man, is his rejecling a crucified 
Chrift. And undoubtedly, as the fin is fo great, the pu- 
nifliment will be proportionable. Divine wifdom will 
frame a hell on purpofe for them that defpife its greatefl 
mafler-piece, even Chrift, the w'lfdom of God : divine power 
will be exerted for ever in punifhing thofe that defpifed 
the moft glorious eflecls of it, even Chrifl, the power of 

4. Confider the condefc ending love and grace of God in 
his offering Chrift to you, and inviting you to come to 
him for life, deliverance, grace, peace, and falvation. He 
faw you fallen into a deep pit out of which ye could not 
extricate yourfclves ; and, in this cafe, free love and grace 
moved him to fay, Seeing men cannot come up to me, 
I will go down to them, ofier myfelf to them, and draw 
them to myfelf with the cords of love. And ought not 
this to allure you to our Lord Jetus ? Shall God, in his 
love, make a gift of his Chrift to you all, That whofoever 
believcth on him Jhould not pcrlfh^ hut have everIaJIin(T Hfcf 
And will ye flight fuch an unfpeakable gift? Such a gift 
was never in the oft'er of fallen angels ; for God fpared 
them not, but caft them into hell. Angels, immediate- 
ly upon their finning, were as much condemned as ever 
they will be; though not fo much punifhed: but free 
grace takes a contrary method with you ; and after all, 
fhall it be rejcdrd ? Yea, further, you hu^-e the ofler of 

A a a 

• K 

37 o -^^ Attempt to preach Chrijl crucified. 

God's Chrift, and of God's grace in him, while the greateft 
part of the world want it: the found of Chrift and of fal- 
vation is not come to their ears, as it is to yours ; and will 
ye not receive him ? Then remember, that in the contempt 
of this infinite condefcenfion of God in Chrift, lies the ftins: 
and poifon _^f unbelief, which gives over the fouls of men 
to eternal ruin: and who ftiall pity them to eternity that 
are guilty oY it ? 

5 . Conlider the vajl advantage that will redound-to you 
from reccivino' our Lord Tefus. This ufuallv is a orreat 
allurement. Hov\^ often will men, by the tiope of a very 
little profit, be induced to do that which ihail imbitter 
their lives, and ruin their fouls ? Well, to receive our 
Lord Jefus is the moft profitable thing ye can do ; whether 
ye conftder the evil removed, or the good poiTeiTed thereby. 
With refpecl to the evil removed; receive our Lord Jefus, and 
ye are'free from the guilt of fm: thefe fins, that now come 
up in remembrance before God, fhall be remembered no 
more : thefe fins that are now before his face Hiall be caft 
behind his back, and into the depths of the fea : and fin 
being removed, all the confequences of it ceafe of courfe. 
You fhall likewife be put in the foffefiton of all good ; for 
Chrift himfelf will become vours more intimatelv than 
your neareft relations are; and in virtue of his being yours, 
all he is and has is yours. His perfon is yours, and you 
are his : all his attributes are yours ; his wifdom is yours, 
to guide you ; his power yours, to protect you ; his mercy 
yours, to pity you ; his all-fufHciency yours, to fupply 
your wants. As the father, of whom we read in the 
gofpel, fliid to his fon, Son^ thou art ever with me^ and all 
that I have is thine ; fo favs Chrift to the foul that receives 
him, Thou art ever with me, and in me •, and all that I 
am, and have, is thine. Being in him, you fhall fliare 
with him in all his ofEces ; being in him, you bear his 
name, and partake with him in all his high relations and 
dignities : he is the Son of God, and fo are you 5 for, To 

An Attonpt to preach Chrijl crucified, 371 

as many as received him^ to them gave he power to become the 

fons of God ; even to them that believe on his name : he is heir 

of all things^ and ye are joint heirs with Chrifl:. Being in 

him, all he lias done, or is doing is yours ; his obedience 

is -yours, to intitle you to eternal life, as much as if you 

had obeyed in your own perfons; hisfufferings are as much 

yours, as ifyqu had endured them in your own perfons; 

his miracles yours, to afg er tain ., you of the truth of his 

doctrine ; his prayers yours, as eiTeclually as if he prayed 

for you by nauie j his rcfurreclion is yours, to bring your 

fouls out of the grave of fm, and your bodies out of the 

grave of the earth ; his afceniion is yours, for he is gone 

to make ready maniions of glory for you, where you fhall 

mutually enjoy one another to eternity. Allthebleflingsand 

privileges he hath purchafed are yours. In a worci, All are 

yours ^ and ye are ChrljVs^ and Chrifl is God^s, And is there 

no power in all this to allure you to receive him ? Is it 

nothing to you to continue ftrangers to, and unintereiled 

in all this bleflednefs and glory? And are you content to 

enjoy, as your portion, a few paltry trifles, with eternal 

ruin at the end, while fuch riches of glory are tendered 

to you ? 

6. Coniider the pleafantnefs as well as profit ablenefs of 
receiving our Lord Jefus. Pleafure, as w-ell as profit, is 
fufTicient to oil the v/heels of men's endeavours, and fee 
them at work. Well, beheving is the pleafantefl: thing 
in the world. The hand that works faith deals gently 
v/ith the foul, draws with the cords of love, and with the 
bands of a man ; and believing is in its own nature de- 
lightful. Is it not a pleafure for a wearied traveller, when 
he is not able to w^alk, to lie down ? Is it not a pleafure 
for a condemned malefadlor to take a pardon ? We could 
appeal to all who ever believed in our Lord Jefus, if ever 
, there was any thing they did more fweetly than trufling in 
Chrifl, when he proclaimed his name to them, and ma- 
nifefled his glory in the promife, and drew their hearts to 

~ A aa 2 

372 An Attempt to preach Chrijl crucifed. 

Iilmfelf. O! undoubtedly, it is a pleafant thing to be 
brought out of darknefs into light; out of a dungeon to 
a throne; from captivity and flavery to fin and Satan, to 
the (glorious liberty of the children of God ! 

7 Confider his matchlefs excellency whom we would 
have YOU to receive. Thousfh v/e had the tonsrues of men 
Ttud angels, we would {lay, in all our exprefllons, millions 
of miles on this fide of Chrill's glory and excellency. 
Would ye but draw^ near and behold his beauty, it would 
inevitably draw you to him ; fpr he hath not a match in 
heaven or earth. If you alk, what is this beloved more 
than another beloved? The fpoufe informs you, that he 
is vjhite and ruddy ^ the chief eft among ten thoufand: his head 
is as the inofl fine gold^ his locks are biifJjy and black as a 
raven ; his eyes are as the eyes cf doves ^ by the rivers of wa- 
ters^ ivafloed ivith milk and fitly fet : his cheeks are as a bed 
cf f pices '^ — his lips like lilies dropping fvoeetfmelUng myrrhe ; 
' — his 772Quth is nioft fivect^ yea^ he is altogether lovely. There 
is nothing ye can defire that is not in him ; and there is 
nothing in him that is not defuable. Ye that flight and 
defpife Chrifl crucified, behold and fee if there be any, in 
heaven or earth, that may be likened to him. Every 
perfon and thing, to which he can be compared, fills fhort 
of a full repi efentation of his excellency. — If he is a king ; 
he is the prince of the kings of the earth : — if a prophet ; he is 
raifedupfrom among his brethren^ and is in the Father's bofom. 
- — if a prieft ; he is the great high-priefi of our profejfion:-^\i 
an angel; he is the angd of God' s prcfence, — In armies; he 
is the fumdard -bearer^ and the captain offahation. — Among 
ifliepherds; he is the chief fioepherd. — He is th.t firfi-born of 
every creature : — the heir of all things. — He is God's oivn Son^ 
and hi3 only begotten. — He is the only Saviour; for, there 
?)• no falvation in another: — he is the firfl-bom among m,any 
prethren. — In a word, he is, in all refpecls, the moft dif- 
tinguiihed perfon in heaven or earth: and will any of 
ycu venture to refufe hin)^^ 

[ 373 ] 

Sovereign Antidotes again ft Slavijh Fear. 

Isaiah xli. lo. 

Fear thou not, for I am *with thee ; be not difmayed^ for 

I am thy God. 

]N which words we have two things : firft an evil pro- 
hibited in the people of God ; Fear thou not, be not 
difmayed: and, fecondly, remedies or antidotes prefcribed 
againft this evil ; / am with thee, I am thy God. 

\j}. An evil prohibited ; Fear not, he not difmayed. Both 
thefe words mean much the fame thing: only, being dif 
mayed is the greateft degree of fear. The Lord's people 
are ready to fink under trouble ; but it is the will of God 
they fhould be undaunted: fear not. Fear is ufually di- 
vided into three kinds, viz. natural, religious, 2indftnful. 

1. Natural fear; which is nothing but a trouble, or 
unealinefs of mind, arifing from the apprehenfion of fome 
approaching evil or danger. This pallion infeparably at- 
tends the nature of man, ever lince he finned ; and tho* 
it be not always finful, it is the confequence of fin, as 
ficknefs, ihame, and forrow are. To be fick is not a iin, 
but it is an efFecl of iin : the fame may be faid with regard 
to fear ; and accordingly, our Redeemer, when he aflum- 
ed our nature, was not exempted from natural fear, tho' 
altogether free from fin ; Heb. v. 7 . He was heard, in 
that he feared. This is not the fear here intended ; for it 
is one of man's affedions, no farther evil, than as per- 

2 . There is a religious fear ; which is that holy awe of 
God, that dwells upon the fpirits of a faint, and regulates 
him under all the difpenfations of God towards him ; and 

374 Sovereign Antidotes againjl SlaviJJj Fear. 

alio in all his aftlons, both towards God and man : this is 
called, the fear of the Lord, both becaufe he is the author 
o^it, and hence fai4> ^-o put his fear in our hearts ; and be- 
caufe he is its objecl, 'Thou ft? alt fear the Lord thy God^ and 
Jhalt fwear by his name, Tliis cannot be the fear intend- 
ed here: for it is fo far from being prohibited, that it is 
injoined as an antidote againit finful fear ; Ifa. viii. 12, 13. 
Say ye not a confederacy^ to all them to whom this people ft all 
fay a confederacy ; neither fear ye their fear^ nor he afraid: 
fandify the Lord of hojls himfelf ; and let him he your fear^ 
und let him he your dread. 

3. There is -^ finful i^2X \ a fear which is not only a con- 
fequence of fin, but finful in itfelf. Of this kind is all 
immoderate, and diftruftful fear, however great the dan- 
ger is.. It is not finful to fear danger, fo asto ufe lawful 
means to avoid it; but it is always -finfuji to fear danger, 
either fo much as to fink our fpirits under it, or to make 
us defpair of avoiding it. Such was the fear of the Ifraehtes, 
who, when they fa w Pharaoh behind then[>^ and the Red- 
Sea before them, gave up themfelves for lofi:, and could 
neither think nor fpeak of any thing, but their graves ; 
not in a way of preparation, but defpair ; Exod. xiv. 1 1 * 
They f aid unto Mofes^ hecaife there were no graves in Egypt ^ 
haft thcu taken us away to die in the wilder nefs. This was 
finful fear.; and therefore Mofes rebukes their cowardice, 
and difi:rufi: : Fear ye nct^ ft and ft ill, and fee the falvation of 
God. Such alfo was the fear of the diiciples, Matth. viii. 
26. As loon as the ftorm came on, their fear was raifed, 
and they were in as much hazard of being overfet by their 
own boifterous paflions, as the veflel was by the wmds : 
they forgot that the Lord, high-adrairal of .all the ocean, 
and commander in chief of the winds, was on board the 
fliip ; for though they applied to Chrift to keep them from 
' linking, yet their faith iniiim was very, low, as his anfwer 
imports : firfi: he rebukes their fear, and then the winds ; 
firft the tempefl within, and then the tempeft without : 

Sovereign Ami dotes agaitijl SlaviJIj Fear, 375 

Why are ye fearful^ ye of little faiths This fear is our folly, 
our fin, 'and fliame, and accordingly, is here prohibited 9 
Fear not^ he not difmayed: and it is not man, but God who 
prohibits it ; The Lord fait h^ fear not ; and in the voice of 
the Lord there is life to form in our fouls the temper he 
commands. Our Lord ftands over our dead hearts, as 
he did over Lazarus's dead body, faying, Lazarus^ arife; 
and he arofe immediately: the word of his mouth carried 
life in, and with it ; fo he fays. Fear not^ and immediate- 
ly all fear is removed from the fpirits of his people. In this 
lies the difl'erence betwixt a call from God, and a call from 
men to duty : men may call, but cannot give power to 
perform what they call to ; but God calls, and likewife 
gives power to obey. 

2 dly^ We have the antidotes prefcribed ; / am ivith thee, 
and I am thy God : he does not fay. Fear not, for ye have 
failed and prayed ; for ye have forfaken your fins, denied 
yourfelves, been holy, and walked humbly with me ; no : 
the prefervation of the fpirits from fear, when evil com- 
eth, is from God alone, and not from any thing in the 
perfon himfelf : / am God^ I change not ; therefore ye are not 
conftmed. If you would have fettlednefs and compofed- 
nefs of fpirit in evil days, you mufl go out of yourfelves, 
and bring it from God: and I dare venture to fay, take 
all the fweetnefs and comfort in the world, and extract the 
quinteffence of it, it will never fettle the heart, nor fecure 
it from fear of evil. Nothing but a perfuafion that God 
is one's own, and of his prefence and fupport will do this ; 
and thefe are fnflicient to keep the moil tottering fpirit 
immovable, and firm like a mountain : They that firmly 
trujl in the Lord^ fhall he like mount Zion^ that cannot he re* 

I. God's prefence with them is an antidote againfl fear; 
/ am WITH thee. There is not any form of words, in all 
the book of God, made ufe of with more variety th^n this 
of God's hcing with his feo^le. 

37^ Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Feaf. 

(i.) It is ufed by way of fromife; Jofhua i. 5. There 
Jhall not any man be able to Jland before thee^ all the days of 
thy life : as I was with Mofes^ fo zvill I be with thee ; I will 
not fail thee^ nor forfake thee. And indeed, it is the fum of 
all the promifes : if God fhould bid us afk what we would 
have at once, or wrap up all our defires in one word^ 
what could we afk fo compreheniive as this, his being with 
us f Senlible was Mofes of this, when he faid, If thy pre^ 
fence go not with us^ carry us not up hence. 

(2 .) It is ufed by believers in a way of faith ; Pfalrn 
xlvi. II. The Lord of hojls is with us ; the God of Jacob is 
our refuge. Their faith was pofitive and peremptory, in 
the thing : they fay not, we have foine faint hopes that 
the Lord will be with us ; but conclude upon it as certain, 
The Lord is with us^ to fupport and maintain both our 
fpirits and our caufe. Thus fpake Caleb and Joihua to 
ftill the murmurings of the people ; Numb. xiv. 9 . Only 
rebel not ye againfl the Lord^ neither fear ye the people of the 
land; for they are bread for us : their defence is departed fro/n 
theni^ and the Lord is with us ; fear them not. The men 
which , accompanied Caleb and Jofhua in the fearch of the 
land of promifc, gave a very difcouraging report of it, 
Numb. xiii. 32. " Not fo, fays Caleb, we fliall quickly 

eat up the inhabitants, they are bread for Us: their high 

walls cannot defend them, for God, w^ho is the defence 

of a land, hath withdrawn his prefence from them, and 
" is with us.'* 

(3.) It is ufed by way of requeft and petition; Gen. 
xxviii. 20. If God will be with me, and keep me in this 
way that I go: as if he had faid. Lord, I defire no more of 
thee, but that thou wilt be with me ; thy prefence will be 
my protection and provifion; it will protedl me from evil, 
and procure me all good. 

(4.) It is ufed by way oi good wifh to others ; Ruth ii.4. 
And behold Boaz came from Bethlehem^ and faid unto the reap- 
ers^ THE LoKD £E WITH YOU* The fame is ufed by many 


'Sovereign Antidotes ngamjl Slavlffo Fear» 377 

amonn-ft us in common fpecch, when taking leave of their 
friends; but with too common a fpirit. 

(5.) It is ufed by way oi propJjecy ; Gen. xlviii. 2 T. And 
Iff ad find unto Joffph^ Behold^ I die ; but God [hull be with 
you. I am now about leaving you, but GoJ will not leave 

(6.) It is ufed by way oi Jjifiory ; Gen. xxxix. 21. But 
the Lord was with Jofeph^ and jhewed him mercy ^ and gave 
him favour in the fight of the keeper of the prifon. — Now, lay 
all tliefe forms of fpcaking togetlier, and it appears, that 
one of the bed things that God can promife us, is to be 
with us ; the bed thing one can believe he fhall receive 
at the hand of God is, that he will be with him ; the bell 
thing one can pray for; the befl: thing that can be fore- 
told of any 5 the beil thing that can be wiflied ; the beft 
thing that can be related of any, is God's prefence Vv'ith 
theni : Fear not^ for I am with thee, 

2 . Another antidote againft fmful fear in the people of 
God is, the new-covenant relation between God and them ; 
/ a?n 1 HY Gud. Their fears were doubled, and fo is their 
encouragement; / am'with thee^ I am thy God, Our Lord's 
relief is not only fuitable, but proportionable to the ne- 
ceflities of lils people; thus in Pfalm xxviii. 8. God is 
faid to be the /Irength of falvation : in the margin it h fal- 
vations ; intimating, that as the evils of his people are 
many, fo are ihcir {lilvations: if they have a thoufand 
troubles, he liath a thoufand fl^lvations. The neceOities 
of the creature can never be above the falvations of God ; 

with him is plenteous redempticn. / am thy God: he does 

not fay, in the new covenant, / am God ; but, which is 
ten thoufand times more comfortable, I am thy God : thou 
haft a property in me ; I vm thine own as much as thy 
lioufes, land, corn, ca.tle, gold, or lilver. There is as 
great a difference betwixt God limply conhdered, and God 
confidered as thine, or mine, as there is betwixt hearing 
of a great ixvenuc, and poiTefiing it. A poor man look's 


378 Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Fear. 

upon the riches and honours of the great, with indiiFer- 
ence, or perhaps with grief; and the plain reafon is, be- 
caufe he looks on them as none of his ; but the poffeflbr 
looks on them with pleafure. — Two malefactors are con- 
demned to die, to the one a pardon is fent, but not to 
the other; obferve what difierence there is in thefe two 
looking on the pardon: jufl fuch a difference is there be- 
t^yixt God's being fimply God, and his being our God. 
He whofe the pardon is, can fay, this is my pardon ; his 
heart leaps within him, and is much taken up in conll- 
dering his pardon ; but he whofe it is not, looks upon it 
with a languifliing and melancholy fpirit. A wicked man 
may think of God as God, but can never fav, this God is 
mine, in a6lual poffefiion. livery one of Adam's race, 
by the violation of God's holy law, forfeited all right and 
claim to God as their God ; and hence they are faid to he 
^without God^ and ivitbout hope in the world. This forfei- 
ture they could never have removed from themfelves, be- 
caufe before it could be done, the law's demands behoved 
to be anfwered, which were perfect obedience from them 
as rational creatures, and full fatisf^clion by fuffering as 
fmful creatures : neither of which they could anfwer. But 
our Lord Jefus, condefcending, in the name of an elect 
company, perfectly to fatisfy the law, God becomes their 
God ; fo that this promifc, as well as all others, is found- 
ed upon Chrifr. He is a covenant God to none lince the 
fall, but thofe in Chriil the Mediator: it is therefore upon 
the footing of Juftice being fullyfatisfied, and judgment fully 
executed, that he fays to any, I ain thy God ; Pfal. Ixxxix, 
14. Juftice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: 
he does not fay. Fear not^ I will be thy God ; but, /am 
thy God^ at this prefent time ; to £hew that God's covenant 
of promife is not a thing pad, or a thing to come, but 
prefent: fo that faith never wants a foundation. From 
the very moment one hears thefe words of grace he may 
lay claim to God as his God. 

Sovereign Antidotes agahijl SlaviJJj Fear, 379 

DocT. That they whofe God the Lord h^ and zuho have 
his prcfencc ivith thcm^ 7iced not he afraid of any things 
he it ever fo hideous or formidable. 

In difcouiflnc: fiom thcfe v/orcis, mv method f'lall be 
the following^ 

T. To fpeak of the evil prohii^Jted. 
II. Of the antidotes prefcribed. 

HI. Shew the virtue of thcfe antidotes to prevent or re- 
move the*eviL 
IV. Apply the fubjecl. 

I. We are iirft to fpeak of the evil prohibited^' fear. In 
illuflrating this we fhall, i. Enquire Vv^hat the people of 
God are not to fear. 2. Why they fliould not fear thefe 

i/?5 We fhall enquire what the people of God are 7iot 
to fear. • ^ 

I. The faints are not to fear God himfelf. What, fay 
you ! are we not to fear God ? Is not the fear of God fre- 
quently fpoken of and injolned in fcripture as moil due 
to him? Rev. xv. 4. Who fljall not fear thee^ Lord^ and 
glorify thy name ; for thoit only art holy? Pfal. Ixxxix. 7. 
God is greatly to he feared in the affcmbly of the faints ; and 
to be had in reverence of all them that are about him., I an- 
fwer, Without doubt there is a fear of God which is our 
wifdom, and our happinefs ; The fear of the Lord, that is 
loifdom : but there is likewife a fear of God v\' hich is our 
folly, our plague, and punifliment; Rom. viii. 15. For ye 
have not received the Spirit of bondage again to fear. There 
is a reverential fear, when the foul is poiTciTed with a fenfe 
of God's majefly, greatnefs, and goodnefs, fo as to pre- 
vent offending him, — this is our duty; Heb. xii. 28. Let 
lis have grace whereby we may ferve God acceptably, with re- 
verence and godly fear. But there is a fear of terror, con- 
fifting in a dreadful conflernation of Spirit from the appre- 

Bbb 2 

380 Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavifb Fear, 

heniion of God as an enemy, as one who will pimidi and 
avenge iin on us, which has no other effect but to weaken, 
difmay, and alienate the heart from God: this bcfel Adam* 
"upon his hn, when God made inquiry about it ; and Cain, 
when he cried out, My piinijbment is greater than I can bear: 
and this is the fear of devils, James ii. 19. The devils be- 
lieve and tremble. The one is the filial fear of God, as a 
Father, with whom is awful power and dominion ; tlie 
Other is a ilaviih fear of God, as a reveng^ino; iuda:e: the 
one is mingled with love, the other is utterly inconiiftent 
v/ith it ; 1 John iv. 18. "There is no fear in love ; but perfect 
love cafteth out fear. Now, when I fay the believer is not 
to fear God, 1 mean, with a ilaviih fear, which hath tor- 
ment and hatred of God, and fo can never be dutv. Fear 
him with awful reverence thev mufi:, this beinc: coniiftent 
with the full ail'urance of one's beino; out of hazard of hell ; 
but with a fear of torment, they need not, and fhould not; 
for It IS God that jupilfieth^ and therefore he will not harm 
or condemn them. 

2 . The people of God are not to fear 7neyi : hence you 
find God chiding his people for it, Ifa. Ivii. 11. And of 
"whom haft thou been afraid^ or feared ; and haft ndt remeni- 
bered me^ nor laid it to thy heart? And our Lord exprefsly 
prohibits it, Matth. x, 2 8. And fear not them which kill the 
hody^ but are not able to kill the foul, ^ What, fay you ! are 
we not bidden fear the king, father, mother, and mafters ? 
I anfvN^er, No doubt fome men have refpect due to them, 
ns beariiio; the imaofe of God : but we are not to fear men 
more than God^ nor yet fo as to be enfnared by the fear; 
The fear, of man brin^eth a fnare, 

( I .) ^j he Lord's people are not to fear the wrath of 
man. There is an implac^ible rage, an unchangeable re- 
solution of revenge upon the faints, in wicked men, fo 
that, if poflible, they would bring down fire to confume 
%ht fervants and people of God: but, although their rage 
V->';e ten thoufaad times more defperate than it is, there i§ 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Fear. 381 

no caufc to fear ; Pfal. cxxiv. i . If it had not been the Lord 
who was on our fide ^ now may Ifrael fay^ when men rofe up a- 
crainfl us ; then they had fwallozved us up quirky when their 
wrath was kindled arrainft us : ver. 6. Bleffed be the Lord who 
hath not o'rcen i{5 a prey to their teeth. Here indeed is fierce 
wrath ; but here is likewife an cfcaping as a bird out of the 
fncCre : and how comes this to pafs? ^he Lord is the help of 
his faints, and on their fide. The Pfalmift elfewhere, tells 
us, The wrath of man fhall praife God, Pfal. Ixxvi. 10. See 
what little ground there is to fear the wrath and rage of 
men : there ihall nothing come from it but matter of praife 
to God ; and wilt thou be afraid at that by which the Lord 
fliall be praifed ? • The Lord is praifed by it ; and ail that is 
over and above what redounds to this, he will reflrain, 

(2 .) The people of God are not to fear the power of men, 
h^bw great foever it be, however terrible it feems, however 
heightened with fuccefs, and inflamed by rage and malice; 
and however little they fee to oppofe it: Heb. xiii. 6. So 
that we may boldly fay. The Lord is my helper, and I will not 
fear what raan flndl do unto me. Why fear it ? feeing their 
helper can abate their power, and bring it down to what 
degree he pleafes ? He can make it ufelefs, and be it never 
fo great : if it be rendered ufelefs, it is as good as none. 
Let the arm of fiefh be never fo flrong, if the Lord lay 
hold on it, it cannot move m.ore than the arm of a dead 
man : if the maftift be never fo flrong and fierce ; yet if he 
be muzzled, there is no fear of him : and fo the Lord can 
deal with the mod powerful men \ he can put a muzzle 
on their mouth, a hook in their nofe, and a bridle in their 
jaws, fo that they cannot beftir, but as he pleafes, Ifa, 
xxxvii. 29. 

(3.) They are not to fear the policy of men. Satan, 
indeed, ufually fets a-work againft the pebple of God, men 
of the deepeft judgments and richeft natural endowments. 
Such as are among men, as the ferpent among beafts ; the 
''^(f^ fubtk he draws into his net^ and makes ferviceable Tor 

382 Sovereign Antidotes again/1 Slavi/h Fear. 

Ills ends. He made ufe of the deep policy of Ahitophel, 
the great oracle of his time for counfel, to deftroy David ; 
the high parts of a JuHan he employs againft the Chrifti- 
ans: but the people of God need not fear thefe, for their 
God confounds the wifdom of the wife^ and brings to nought 
the coimfel of the prudent. Where is the wife man f where is 
the fcribef where is the difputer of this world f He hath chofen 
the foolifh things of the world to confound the wife. Though 
hell itfelf combine with them, to lay fnares to entrap the 
people of God, there is no reafon to fear them ; for the wif- 
dom of men and devils cannot ftand before the wifdom of 
God; Job V. 12, 13. He dif appoint eth the decrees of the 
crafty^ fo that their hands cannot perform their enterprize : he 
iaketh the wife in their own craftinefs ; and the counfel of the 
froward is carried headlong. Nay, fure the wifdom of men 
cannot match the fooliflmefs of God ; and how can it con- 
tend with his wifdom, i Cor. i. 25. Becaufe the foolifhnefs 
of God is wifer than nun : not that there is foolifhnefs in 
God ; for, as God is light, and in him is no darknefs at 
all; fo God is wifdom, and in him is no folly: but the 
Spirit of God fpeaks thus, to put God as low as the fooliih 
thoughts of men can put him, which is to think that there 
is fooliflmefs with him ; yet even in this, he is wifer than 
tiiey. Why then fliould the people of God fear the policy 
of men ? 

(^ .) The people of God are not to fear the injlrujuents of 
human cruelty. Inflruments of cruelty are indeed in the ha- 
hit at ion of the wicked ; but the people of God need not fear 
them. Let them have all the inflruments that cruelty can 
invent, fear them not : fear not their fwords, and other 
engines of war ; for no weapon formed againft the people of God 
fl?all prof per, A naked fword, or javelin, is terrible; but 
when there is a coat of mail to ward ofl' the thrufl, why 
fear them : The armour of believers is proven: Put ye 07i 
the whole armour of God^ that ye may be able to withjland in 
the evil day; and having done all^ to Jland* But, fay you. 


Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavi/lo Fear. 383 

are not the Lord's people killed by the fword and other 
warlike weapons, as well as others ? We deny not but 
they may cut off the man ; but they cannot harm the 
faint. They have a natural life, and that may be deflroy- 
ed, as well as the life of the wicked : but their fpiritual 
life cannot be taken away by all the men on earth, or de- 
vils in hell ; for, "Their life is hid with Chrift in Gcd; fo that 
Chrifl himfelf mufl be more than wounded, before their 
lives be deftroyed. You that are the people of God have 
this advantage of your enemies, that you have two lives, 
the one they can, the other, which is the moil excellent, 
they cannot take away. They have but one, the natural, 
but ye have a life in Chrift ; yea, Chrift himfelf is your 
life, and that they cannot deprive you of. What fuppofe 
their inftruments of cruelty take away the former ? they 
do nothing but make you change mortality for immorta- 
lity, death for life, weaknefs for ftrength, fhame for glory, 
and fin for holinefs : they but pull down a rotten houfe of 
clay, to give you poiTeflion of an houfe not made with hands; 
and what harm is there here? None at all. Fear not. 

3. The people of God are not to it2x fin. Sin is an 
evil, and the worft of all evils it is ; fo evil, that nothing 
can be faid of it worfe than itfelf, Rom. vii. 13. Sin^ that 
it ?night appear fin^ working death in 7ne by that which is 
good ; that fn by the commandment might become exceeding fn- 
ful. It is fo evil, that it is the caufe of all other evils ; 
but be it never fo evil, the people of God are not to fear 
it ; and that neither in themfelves, nor others. 

(i.) They are not to fear their own fins, I do not fay 
they are not to be afraid to fin ; for this is plain duty, 
Pfal. iv. 4. Stand in awe^ and fin not : but they need not 
be afraid of their fms \ for none of them can do them any 
hurt, becaufe there is now no condemnation to them which are 
in Chrijl Jefus : and why cannot fin condemn them ? be- 
caufe our Lord has condemned it ; He condemned fin in the 
fefh. A traitor, when at liberty, may do much mifchief j 

384 Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slaviflj Fean 

but when condemned, and bound, he can do none. Now, 
fin is condemned to the behever, and fo cannot harm him. 
It has been a common praclice when men were found daur 
gerous to the ftate, to banifh them into a remote place, never 
to return under the feverefl penalties : fo our Lord Jefus, 
our fcape-goat, has carried away our fms into a land of 
forgetfulnefs ; Pfal. ciii. 12. As far as thejaji is from ths 
wej}^ fo far hath he removed our tranfgreffions from us. And 

' how then can they harm us? Sin is a fad debt, and the 
law is a fevere creditor; but what of all that, when the 
debt is forgiven, as in the cafe here ; Ifa. xliii. 25. /, even 
I am he that biotteth out thy tranfgrejjlons for mine oivn fake^ 
and will not remember thy fins. If a man have fubfcribed a 
thoufand bonds, while they remain in force he is ready 
to fear arreftment ; but put the cafe, that thefe bonds are 
all cancelled, he needs no more fear them, than if they 
had never been ; and this is the cafe with the believer ; 
therefore the apoftle tells us, That the hand-writing of or- 
dinances that was againjl us^ and contrary to us^ is blotted 
cut by our Redeemer^ and nailed to his crofs, 

(2.) They are not to fear other men's fins. You may 
fay, Suppofe we had no fins of our own to draw down 
judgments on us, yet the land in which we live, is filled 
with fin aqairifl the holy One of Ifrael ; and the wrath of God 
is revealed from heaven^ againjl all unrighteoufnefs and ungod- 

' linefs of men, I anfwer. This is a fad truth ; for I much 
doubt if there can be any lin found among a people pro- 
felling the name of Chrift, to bring on wrath, which is 
not to be found in our land at this day ; There is no truth .^ 
nor mercy ^ nor knowledge of God in the land; and therefore fl) all 
the land mourn. No doubt the people of G'od fliould figh 
and cry, but tliey need not be afraid ; for all the heaven- 
daring fins of the day can do them no hurt. Thus when 
'the Jews charge God with injuilice, Ezek. xviii. 2. The 
fathers have eaten four grapes ^ and the childrens teeth are fet 
on edge; he rejecls the charge, and directly anfwersj Ths 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Fear, 383^ 

foul that finnetb JImll die : which is as much as to fay, the 
Iinner alone ihall be the-futlerer. Now, bdiever, thou 
art not the finncr, and therefore ihalt not be the lufferer. 
— O but, fay you, I have had a hand in thefe lins, by not 
reproving them, nor lamenting over them, and feveral o- 
ther ways; and therefore I may fuiTer for them. Well, 
but know for your comfort, that in fo far as you have 
been partakers of other men's (ins, our Lord hath born 
thefe, and fufFcred for them ; for it was not your own iins 
only, but your other inen's fms ; it was not fome of your 
fins only that Chrill bore, leaving the reft to you ; but it 
was all your fms, that he bore on his own body on the tree: 
for, He is the Lamb of God^ that taketh away the fin of the 
world ; and therefore you have no ground to fear. — But, 
fay you again, The Lord many times allows the righteous 
to be involved in the fame public calamities with the wick- 
ed; Job ix. 22. 'This is one things therefore I faid it^ he de* 
flroyeth the perfed and the zvicked. On this I would only 
fay at prefent, that though ye may fall in the common ca- 
lamity, yet no real evils fliall befal you ; mercy Ihall al- 
ways be predominant in your cup, and the evil fliall be 
taken out of the judgment ye fliall meet with : Job v* 
19, — 22. He Jhall deliver thee infix troubles ; yea, in fcven 
there foall no evil touch thee. In famine he Jhall redeem thee 
from death ; and in war, from the power of the fword, Thozi 
fmlt be hid from the fcourge of the tongue ; neither fh alt thou 
he afraid of deftruction when it cometh. At deflruclion g,nd 
famine thou fmlt laugh ; neither /halt thou be afraid of the 
beafts of the earth. Which leads me to obferve, 

4. The Lord's people are not to icw f tiff e ring or affile^ 
tion, God's covenant-people are ordinarily au afflicled 
people above all others in the world; John xvi. 53. In 
the world ye f mil have tribulation, Chrift himfelf bare the 
crofs, and Chriftians muft be crofs-bearers as v/eil as their 
mafter ; Luke ix. 23. If any man will come after me, let him 
deny himfelf^ and take up his crofs daily and follow me. But 

C c c 

386 Sovereign Antidotes againji Slavijh Fear, 

they are not to fear thefe croiTes, be they ever fo heavy 
and many ; for they can do them no harm, but good : 
AlthGugb no afflidion be for the prefent time joyous^ but griev- 
ous ; yet afterwards it yields the peaceable fruits of right eouf 
nefs : thereby they are purged and tried, that no drofs re- 
main about them; refined from their fins and iniquities; 
improved and advanced in their graces ; experimentally 
acquainted with God and his ways ; kept from their wan- 
derins^s out of God's wav, and incited to more dilio;ent 
and vigilant obedience; conformed to Chrift Jefus, allur- 
ed more and more of their filial relation to God, and of 
God's paternal faitlifulnefs to them ; and, in a word, here- 
by they are fitted and prepared for eternal glory, 2 Cor. 
iv. 17. The harbour is moil: deUghtfui to the mariner after 
a tempeftuous voyage, and reft is moft fweet to the labour- 
er after a day of hard toil: fo doubtlefs, heaven will be 
moft ravifhing, even a double heaven to the Lord's people 
becaufe of its following upon their fufterings in this world. 
Why therefore fear affliciion, which hasfuch happy eiFecls? 
5 . The people of God are not to fear Satan, He will 
be fure to afHicl them more than all others befidcs. "Wicked 
men are under his dominion like prifoners in dungeons 
and irons ; he is fure of them, he troubles not himfelf 
with them ; therefore they are feldom buffeted by his temp- 
tations : but believers are brought out of prifbn, refcued 
from his power ; and therefore he raiies all his force and 
fury of temptation to re-enflave them, as the goaler raifes 
all the country with him, to purfue the prifoners that have 
mafle their efcape. But they need not fear him after all; 
for he cannot overcome them ; My grace fhall be fufficient 
for you. Our Lord Jefus conquered Satan in his own per- 
fon, as the head of his people; he is daily conquering 
him by his grace, in his members, and will at laft for ever 
tread him imder their feet ; Rom. xvi. 20. 'The God of peace 
fjjall bruife Satan U7ider your feet ffoortly. Yea, fo far fliall 
they be from being overcome that they fliall be gainers by 

Sovereign Antidotes again/! Slavijh Fear. 387 

his temptations : hereby they are made conformable to 
Chriil the head ; for, He -was in all thijigs tempted like as 
they are: hereby they are obliged to make ufe of the whole 
armour of God, and fo their armour is kept from ruftins^: 
hereby they are fmgularly experienced and inftrucced in 
the fpiritual warfare: exercife makes them expert foldiers 
of Chrift, fo that their hands are taught to war^ and their 
fngers to fight againil all the enemies of their {alvation : 
hereby they are made to cleave clofer to our Lord Jefus, 
that they be not overthrown ; For this caufe I be/ought the 
Lord thrice: and hereby our Lord gives them frequent 
viclories and occafions of triumph. No confiicl:, no con- 
queft ; no temptation, no triumph. 

6. The people of God are not to fear death. Indeed 
the dearefl of them are liable to death : none of them are 
without fin ; and when iin hath once entered, death, the 
wages of Iin, follows. Sin, at their befl in this life, hath 
a beinsf in them, thouofh not dominion over them; and 
accordingly they are expofed to death but exeemed frorn 
the curfe of death. Death is the king of terrors ; of ter- 
rors the mofi: terrible : but though this be the cafe, the 
faint need not fear, for it can never feparate them from 
the love of God, Rom. viii. 38,39. It may feparate them 
from the love of friends and acquaintances, even of huf- 
band, wife, or children ; but can never feparate them from 
the love of God: Thefe may love them to death, but 
God will love them in and after it. They need not fear 
it, for the fting is removed, and fo it becomes altogether 
harmlefs. Who fears a fnake or a fcorpion when he knows 
they have loft their fling ? then they may be handled and 
put into one's bofom without harm: juft fo may the Lord's 
people triumph over death ; i Cor. xv. SS* ^ death! where 
is thy Jiifigf grave/ where is thy vidoryf If they trem-r 
ble when they look at death, they may triumph when they 
look at Chriil ; for he, by his death, in their name, has 
killed death, and buried the grave by being buried in it. 

Cc c 2 

88 Sovereign Antidotes againjl SlaviJJj Fear. 

Some K^A'e obfei ved, ' that the bee ftrlking his fling into 
a d.t^G liody, retains it flill ; but ftriking it into a living 
bociy^ often lofes it : lb death, ftrikinghis fting into Chrift's 
living body, wherein was no fpiritual death, has for ever 
loft his fting as to Chrift's members. Yea, Chrift has 
turned death into great advantage to his people.— -Death 
is theirs to fave them: it is a diffolution or feparation of 
the foul from the body for a while, and no more. — Death 
is their- reft from the labour of fin and fo'rrow, whereby 
they have been fo miferably harraffed ; They reft In their 
beds. Now, why fee afraid to go to reft? — Death is their 
fleep in the bofom of Jcfus ; and if they /leap ^ they Jh all do 
njuell : they fhall awake in the m.orning of the refurrecfion, 
and then death and hell jhall he cajl into the lake of fire ^ 
Rev. XX. 14. 

7. The people of God are not to fear helL In their 
natural eftate, indeed, they were children of wrath as well 
as others, and fo liable to hell ; but now, being in Chrift, 
they are quite out of its reach: John iii. 18, Re that he- 
lieveth on h'lm^ is not condemned] but he that heUeveth not^ is 
condemned already^ and the wrath of God ahideth on him : not 
that he is in hell already, but bound over to it. Now, 
a believer is ftill a believer from the firli: moment of his 

.believinj?' ; and therefore from that moment forward he is 
not condemned, or bound over to hell and wTath ; John 
V. 24. He fhall not corne into condemnation : by the redempti- 
on of Chrift, already applied to the believer, and by tha» 
oath of God, he is perfectly fecured from the return of the 
curfe : Ifa. liv. 9. For this is as the waters cf Noah unto me ; 

for as J have fworn^ that the waters of Noah fJj all no more go 
over the earth; fo have Iftvorn that J would not he Wroth with 
thee^ nor rebuke thee. Yea, the believer is juftified by faith, 
and fo adjudged to live eternally in heaven ; and a man 
can never ftand adjudged to eternal life, and eternal death 
at one and the fame time.— Let none infer from this, that 
Wiievers need not regard the threatenings of the -law^ 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Fear. 389 

for though they are not to regard tlicm as denunciations 
of their doom, yet they are to regard them as a looking- 
glafs^ wherein to behold the dreadful demerit of their iins, 
tlic unfpeakable love of God, in delivering them from his 
wrath and vengeance contained in them: they are not foto 
be regarded, as if believers were to fear their coming un- 
der them ; but as they are lecured from them, that they 
may fear to hn, not from fear of coming under wrath, 
but out of love to Jefus, who hath delivered them from 
the wrath to come. — Again, let none infer from this, 
that believers may live as they lift, for the belief of the 
love of God does certainly teach them another leiTon, even 
to deny ungodlinefs and worldly lufts^ and to live foberly^ righ- 
teoufly^ and godly in this prefent worlds Titus ii. 1 2 . I doubt 
not but fome who profefs to believe this doclrine, live in all 
manner of wickednefs ; but fliall the children want their 
bread becaufe doors fnatch at it ? Becaufe wicked men a- 
bufe the doctrine of the free grace of God, fliall the Lord's 
people be deprived of what he hath provided for them ? 
No ; we are not to fpeak w^ickedly far God. 

2dly^ I proceed next to enquire, why the people of God 
fhould not fear thefe things. 

I . They Ihould not fear them becaufe of the wrong there- 
by done to God, It is a great wrong done him, to fear, or 
fuffer our hearts to be caft down in times of trouble, and 
therefore iliould be guarded againft. The faint ihould be 
tender of God's glory, and beware of bringing up an evil 
report upon him. You have a feeling exprellion to this 
purpofe, Ezra viii. 22. / zuas ajhamed to require of the kin^ 
a band of foldiers and horfemen^ to help us againft the enemy 
in the way ; becaufe we had fpoken unto the king faying^ 'The 
hand of our God is upon all them for good that feek him ; but 
his power and his wrath is againft all them that forfake hi?n. 
He was in a great ftrait, for the enemy was coming upon 
him ; yet he was afhamed to aik any help becaufe he had 
faid to the king, The hand of our God is upon them for good : 

390 Sovereign Antidotes agalnjl Slaviflj Fear. 

be would therefore rather endanger his life, than diflionour 
God. Fear in the Lord's people diftionours him feveral 

(i.) It {landers his power. If you lend a man a fum 
of money, and he gives you a bond for it, it may be you 
fear ill payment: what is the ground of this? I doubt, 
fay you, he will not be able to pay me. Now, when 
fear arifeth from this principle doth it not reflecl upon the 
ability and fufficiency of the man ? If you thought him 
able you would not fufpecl him. So when you apprehend 
fuch and fuch evils are coming on you, and you begin to 
be afraid, and to cry out, " Doubtlefs I fliall fink under 
" them, there is no way to avoid them." What is this 
but a flandering the power of God, like the Ifraelites in 
the wildernefs ; Can God give us flejh to eatf whereas our 
evils can never be fo great to opprefs us, as his power is 
great to deliver us. God gives it under his hand, that 
he will put forth the whole power of his Godhead, for the 
good of his people ; i Chron. xvii. 24. 'The Lord of hofts is 
the God of Ifrael^ even a God to IfraeL Yet when we fear, 
we ftagger through unbelief, as if the arm of God's power 
were fhortened, and could not help us in defperate cafes. 
O what an affront to almighty power is this ! 

(2.) It ilanders t\\t faithful nefs of God. Some will fay 
they do not queftion God's power, but all their fear is 
whether he will grant them the neceffary aids or not. 
Well, this proceeds from a fufpicion of the faithfulnefs of 
God. Put the cafe as formerly, a man has promifed you 
a fum of money, and when he is gone, you fear he will 
never pay it, though you are convinced of his ability. Is 
not this calling in queftion the honefty of the man ? do 
you not make him a liar ? So the public faith of heaven 
is engaged for the fafei-y of believers, and can we have 
better fecurity ? The whole earth hangs upon the word of 
God's power, and fhall not our faith hang upon the word 
of his truth, which he cannot deny, without denying him- 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Fear. 391 

felf ? 2 Tim. ii. 13. If we believe not^ yet he abideth faithful: 
he cannot deny hbnfelf Now, for the people of God not 
to believe his word, but to fear, is to affront the truth 
and faithfulncfs of God ; i John v. 13. He that believeth 
not^ hath made God a liar, A perfon of honour cannot be 
more affronted or provoked than when he is not credited; 
fo he that believes not God's truth, pawned and pledged, 
for the fecurity of his people againft all their fears and dan- 
gers, makes the promife no better than falfliood : and can 
there be a greater affront ofl'ered to God? 

(3.) It flanders the love^ grace ^ and 7nercy of God. 
Although our Lord had never fo great power to help his 
people, yet if he were not willing and ready to do fo, they 
could draw no fecurity from thence : but they have no 
more reafon to doubt of this than of the former. Our 
Lord who is powerful enough to defeat all oppofition, has 
likewife love and good-will fo to do ; of this they are af- 
fured in his word, Rom. viii. 35. Who fhall feparate us 
from the love of Godf Here the apoflle defies and defpifes 
all oppofers, as unable to unloofe the arms of God's love 
wherein believers are fafely folded. Well, do not his 
people, when they give way to linking fear, deny his love ? 
And it is blafphemy to fay either he cannot, or will not 
help : If he cannot, he is not God ; if he will not, he is 
not our God, he is not love, as he has declared himfelf 
to be; God is love^ i John iv. 16. 

(4.) It flanders the wifdom of God. Our Lord is the 
only wife God, All creatures are but fools when compar- 
ed with him : and this wifdom is made over to believers 
in the word of grace, for their conducl and direction when 
they know not what to do; Pfal. xxxii. 8. / will inflrud 
thee^ and teach thee in the way which thou fJo alt go ; I will 
guide thee with mine eye: — to extricate them when involved 
in difficulties; i Cor. x. 13. God is faithful^ who will not 
fuffer you to be tempted above what ye are able ; but will 
with the temptation make a way to efcape^ that ye may be able 


92 Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijlj Fear, ' 

to bear it: — and to over-rule a'il their troubles to their good 
and advantage ; Rom. viii. 2 8 . And we know that all things 
work together for good to them who love God, Seeing this is 
the cafe, for the people of God to fear is injury to his in- 
finite wifdom ; for the phiin language of it is, that the 
wifdom of God cannot contrive and order a way for 
your efcape and deliverance, when all doors of hope are 
fhut to fenfe and reafon ; whereas the divine wifdom hath 
infinite ways and methods of deliverance unknown to men : 
We know not what to do^ but our eyes are towards thee. When 
our feeble wits are bewildered in a maze, and at the end of 
their line, then is the time for God's interpoiition. 

(5.) The care of God is by fear fufped:ed. Great is the 
care and concern he has about his people ; Nahum i. 7. The 
Lord is good^ ajirong hold in the d^yof trouble^ and he knoweth 
them that trufl in him ; that is, he hath a fpecial, careful, 
and tender eye upon them, to fee that their wants be fup- 
plied, and their dangers averted: and hence we are bid, 
Caft all our care upon him^ feeing he caret h for us^ i Pet. v. 7, 
But do the people of God think he is mindful of them, 
and cares for them when extremity of danger comes, and 
they fear that they fliall not efcape ? No : they mufl think ' 
that he does not mind or resrard them. O what an evil 


is this, confidering the tendernefs of his care about themF 
It is the care of a Father; yea, the tendereft care of a fa- 
ther is not to be named in one day with the care of God 
about his people: Matth. vii. 11. If ye^ being evilj know 
how to give good gifts unto your children^ how much more Jh all 
your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that 
afJi him? — Confidering the univerfality of his care, extend- 
ing to all of them, in all places and ages ; 2 Chron. xyi. 9. 
Fhe eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earthy 
to jhew him f elf fir 071^ in the behalf of them whofe heart is per- 
fid towards hi?n. — -And confidering the afilduity of his care, 
Ifa. xxvii. 3. / the Lord do keep it, I will water it every ino-^ 
ment : lefl anj hurt it ; I will keep it night and day* 

Sovereign Antidotes aga'injl Slavijh Fear 4 393 

2. Another reafon why the people of God ought not 
to fear, may be drawn from thcmfelves ; becaufe it is un- 
fuitablc to them, and it is alfo hurtful. 

[i.] It is very wifiutahlc to them: and that both to 
their calling and caufe. 

(i.) To their ^^///«^ ; they are called to be faints; and 
who fliould be more valiant than they who are moil holy? 
'The ijoi eked fly 'when no man -purfiieth^ hut the righteous is hold 
like a lion, Greatnefs of fpirit befits them who are faints* 
Their caufe is good, their encouragements good, and their 
end is good ; and why fhould not their courage be pro- 
portionable to thefe? Ifa. li. 12. ]¥ho art thoii^ that thou 
JJjoiddeJl he afraid of a man that fhall die^ and of the fin of 
man^ which flndl he made as grafs f Wherefore fliould I fear 
in the days of evil ? fald a faint. Wherefore fliould I who 
have fuch relations, fuch promifes, fuch hopes, fear? this 
were unworthy of me. As Themiftocles faid to a foldier, 
when palling by the fpoil of his enemies ; " Thou mayeft 
" gather up the fpoil, for thou art not Themiftocles :** 
efteeming it unworthy of him to do thefe things which 
others did. So, believers, God has beftowed a great deal 
of honour upon you, in making you Chriilians ; and you. 
ought to be as far above others in courage as they are be- 
low you in condition. 

(2.) It is uiifuitable to their caufe^ viz. religion. A 
pity it is that fo good a caufe as religion iliould have fuch 
feeble and cowardly fupportcrs. The caufe is a fufficient 
bottom to bear up the fpirit, and enflame the heart with 
courage; none can defend it, but it will defend them; 
for it makes the great God the defejice of a people, Deut. 
xxxiii. 29.. Happy art thou^ O Jfrael ; ivho is like unto thee^ 
O people faved by the Lord^ the Jhield of thy help^ and ivho is 
the fword of thine exccllemy f And as our fecurity lies ia 
defending it, fo our danger lies in deferting it : it is a 
fearful thing to make God a juli: enemy, by making 
man an unjuft friend. He that maintains the beft caufe 

D dd 

394 Sovereign Antidotes again/1 Slavijh Fear. 


fliall be beft fupported ; though they fufFer with it, they 
Ihall conquer by it. Chrift conquered when he feemed to 
be overcome ; and fo does the Chriflian : In all thefe things 
ive are more than conquerors. Are wicked men couragious, 
or rather defperate in a bad caufe? What a fhame is it, 
that faints fliould be fo fearful in a good one ? What have 
they to hold up their hearts ? and what have not we to 
hold up ours? 

[2 J As it is unfuitable, fo it is hurtful to the people 
of God to fear. 

(i.) It dijlracls their minds: great fear caufes great di- 
ftraction ; Pfal. cvii. 26, 27. They mount up to heaven^ they 
go down into the depths^ their foul is melted hecaufe of trouble ; 
they reel to and fro^ and ft agger like a drujikcn man^ and. are 
at their wits end: or as fome render the words, all their 
wifdoni is fwallowed up. Their reafon cannot conduct 
them any longer. — Great fears unhinge reafon, and put it 
out of its place : thus the difciples of Chrill:, in a ftorm, 
were not only like men at their wit's end, but almoft at 
their faith's end ; Lordfave us, wg perifh : if thou help us 
not, we are undone. And he faid, Why are ye fearful^ 
ye of little faith f 

(2 .) Fear produces hypocrify and diffirnulation in the foul: 
Ifa. Ivii. II. And of whom haft thou been afraid, or feared, 
that thou hafl lied? Many a fad inftance of this we have 
in fcripcure. We find Abraham's fear making him dif- 
femble, to the great reproach of religion. Gen. xx. 2. 
And Abraham faid of Sarah, pe is my fifter. And what was 
the reafon of this ? ver. 1 1 . Becaufe I thought furely the 
fear of God is not i?i this place ; and they will flay me for my 
wife^s fake. We find fear bringing Ifaac into the like fnare. 
Gen. xxvi. 7 . And what was it but fear, that mafl:ered Peter, 
and againfi: his promifes, as well as his principles, made 
him deny his Lord and Mailer ? 

(3.) It is an evil that makes them in danger of apoflacy. 
There are four forts of perfonSj Sirs, who will never hold 

Sovereign Antidotes agavijl Slavijlj Fear. 395 

to any caufe. i. Ignorant perfons ; we muft know and 
prove before we can hold faft, i ThefT. v. 2 i . Prove all 
f/jin^s ; hold faft that which is good. 'I'hat which never 
was proved is eafily defcrted. 2. Unfoiind-hearted perfons; 
for it is eafy to make him any thing who is indeed nothing. 
It is eafy to make liini an apoftate, who was previouUy a 
hypocrite ; hypocrify is that virtually which apoftacy is 
aclually. '^. Worldly-minded va^n^ i Tim, vi. 10. The love 
of money is the root of all evil^ which while fome coveted after ^ 
they hav€ erred from the faith. When men are lovers of 
themfelvcs, of honours, of pleafurcs, or of profits, more 
than lovers of God, it v/ill be no irreat diiUcuh'v to draw 
them from him. 4. Fearful and timorous perfons. Fear- 
ful nien will never be faithful. It is all one Co truit a 
coward and a traitor. He that is the one will quicklv be 
made the other : and therefore the Chriftian ffiould banilh 
any fmful finking as unworthy of men, much more of 

(4.) Fear enfeebles the foul. x\s it is faid of natural 
fear, that it betrays the fuccours which reafon offers ; fo 
fpiritual fear rejects the comforts, which God and liis pro- 
mifes contain: thus we read, Ifai. xxx. 15. when God 
told fome people that he hirnfelf would be their fecurity 
againft danger, their fears prevailed, and ail that he faid, 
thev reckoned too little to fecure them: Thus faith the 
Lord^ In returning and reft fo all ye he faved ; in quiet nefs and 
in ionfdence fl^all be your flrength : and ye zvoiild not. So 
iikewife in Ifaiah vii. 2. where we read, That the hearts 
of the men of Judah were moved^ as the trees of the zuood are 
moved with the zui?id. In this their fear and danger, God 
by his prophet tells them, he v/ould be their fecurity up- 
on their trufting in him ; Be quiet ^ fear not, neither be faint- 
hearted. Yet notwithilanding all this, their fear prevail- 
ed againft their faith: whereupon the Lord bids the king 
aik a fign, whether in the depth, or in the height above ; 
that is, if he delircd to have his faith confirmed, by any 

Ddd 2 

%q6 Sovereign Antidotes ag^ainfc Slavipj Fear. 

vifihle iign, either in heaven or earth, God would con- 
descend m far as to afford it : yet ft ill his fears prevailed 
againft his faith, and againft all the fecurity God offered. 
And x^haz fajd, / will not o,Jh^ neither zvill I tempt the Lord; 
that is, upon the matter, he would not truft God, but ' 
run to the arm of ilefh ; he would rather truft to the pro- 
vifton fear v.ould make, than to the provifion faith would 
find in God. — Thus it enfeebles the foul, 

g. Another reafon why believers fhould not fear, may 
be taken from their enemies. As fear is our weaknefs ; fo' 
it is our enemies ft.rength» Our fears encourage, and our 
courage diihcartens them.: we read, Judges iii. 12. that 
Ifraei's fin was Eglon's ftrength; And the children of Ifrael . 
did evil again in tht fight of the Lord : and the Lord Jirength- 
encd Fglon^ the king of Moab^ again]} IfraeL So our fm of 
fear is the courac^e and ftrength of our advcrfaries ; we 
theieby difarm ourfelves, and arm them. Thus it is a 
very dangerous fin; and therefore _God would not fuffer 
fuch to q:o to war, Deut. :Jtx. viii. What man is there that 
is fearful and faint-hearted let him ^0 and return to his 
hoife^ left his brethren's heart faint^ as ivell as his heart. 
Which leads to a 

. 4. Reafon of this, wliich may be drawn from the in- 
Jluence this fear has upon other faints. It diihcartens them 
that arc weak; Should fuch a man as I fear f faid Nehe- 
miah. He knew his difpoiitions, whether of fear or cou- 
rage, would have aa influence upon many ; and therefore, 
lie would rather (Kit than run away for fear. Fear is like 
the dead body > of /^mafa on the wav, which made the 
whole army ftand ftill, 2 Sam. xx. 12. 

II. I now proceed to the fecond thing piX)pofed in our 
niethod, viz. To fpeak of ^"^t antidotes prefcribed in our 
text againft fear ; thefe are two, God's prefence with his 
people, and the covenant-relation he ftands in to them. 
We fliall coufidsr theft feparately, 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Fear. 397 

ly?, The firft antidote prefcribed in our text againft 
fear, is God's prefence with his faints ; / am with thee* 
For the illuftration of this, I would view it both negative- 
ly nnd pofitively. ^ 

God's faying, / am with thec^ is not to be undcrftood, 
negatively viewed, of his being with his people, 

1. As to his efjmtial prefence; for he is not nearer to 
them, than to others in this refpecl. He is eflentially 
eveiy where prefent; inclofed by nothing, and excluded 
Ironi nothing: fo a heathen defcribcd God to be a circle^ 
whofe centre is every where, and whofe circumference^ is 
no where ; and in the prophet, he tells much the fame 
thing himfelf, Jer. xxiii. 23. Am I a God at hand^ faith 
the Lord^ and not a God afar off? Do not I fill heaven and 
earth? He fills all things with his eflential prefence; hea- 
ven, earth, and hell : Pfal. cxxxix. 7. Whither fJj all I go 
from thy Spirit? or whither fh all I fly from thy prefence? God 
is not partly in one place, and partly in another : but all 
in every place ; wholly in the height of heaven, and whol- 
ly in the depth of hell : all God, is in all things ; and all 
God, is without all things. They that cannot endure the 
thoughts of God's prefence, where will they fly from him? 
I'hey may run away from God, as a friend ; but cannot 
run away from him as an enemy. Men may fhut God 
out of their hearts, and yet he is there do what they will; 
and will be found there one day in the dreadful effecls of 
his anger. 

2 . His being with his people is not to be underftood of 
his being with them as to his commori providence ; for fo he 
IS not far from every one of us ; for in him we live^ and move^ 
and have our beings Acls xvii. 27, 28. This general pre- 
fence, and providential care, is vouchfafed to all his crea- 
tures; and without it they could not fublift: Col. i. 17. 
By him all things confijl* All creatures are but like the 
impreffion of a feal upon the water; take away the feal, 
»nd the impreffion vaniflieth : fo, take away the preferv- 

398 Sovereign Antidotes againfi Slavijh Fear. 

ing influence of providence, and prefently all things re- 
turn to their original nothing: therefore every creature 
needs the fupport and concurrence of God; accordingly, 
he is faid to uphold all things by the word of his power ^ 
that they may not fall into the abyfs of nothing, from 
which the fame power raifed them up at the firft. And 
all the creatures are fenfible of this dependance, and look 
up to God for their prefervation. Pfal. civ. 27. Thefe 
all wait upon thee^ that thou mayefl give the?ii their meat in 
due Jeojon : and man, wlio is an abridgment of all the refi;, 
cannot but own it. Oh! how foon would the earthen 
pitcher break, if he did not keep it up I how foon would 
the lamp of the foul be extinguilhed, if he did not add 
new oil! Hence God is ililed, ^he preferver of man and 
heajl, A moil univerfal preferver he is ; even from the 
hairs of our head, which he numbers, to the moft exalted 
Spirit, who are preferved by his viiitation. 

But pofitively, God's being with his people, is meant 
of his friendly and gracious prefefice. He is with them in a 
peculiar and diilinguiihing way, by his Spirit and grace, 
in the ordinances of his own inftitution ; with them, fo 
as to be for them. Novv^, this gracious prefence of God, 
I think, mav include the followino: thimrr;. 

I. Ihe bleffed neizhhourhood that fubfifts betwixt God 
and them. Thus, fometimes he is faid to be a God near 
to his people, and they are faid to be near to him ; Pfal. 
xxxiv. 18. 'The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken 
heart » Pfal. cxlv. 18. The Lord is ni<^h unto all them that 


call upon him, .to all that call upon him in truth. Pfal. cxiviii. 
14. He alfo exalteih the horn of his people^ the praife of all 
his faints ; everi of the children of Ifrael^ a people near untc 
him. Oh! how wonderful is the divine condefcenfion, 
that God fliould refide fo near to defpicable dull and afhesi 
God is the bed neighbour in the world; happy they who 
dwell near him, and Hand in his prefence! This honour 
and happinefs have all his people j Deut. iv. i'» For what 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl SlaviJJo Fear. 399 . 

nation is there fo great ^ who hath God fo nigh unto them^ as 
the Lord our God is in all things that we call upon him for f 
Poor believers, ye have perhaps very bad neighbours in 
the world ; ye are forced to live befide them who are, on 
many accounts, troublefome and injurious to you, which 
makes you cry out as David, Woe is me that I fojourn in 
Mejhech! But know for your comfort, that ye have God's 
company too ; a God in Chrift to be your near neighbour: 
/ am with thee, 

2. It implies, GodJs fweet favour io thtva^ as reconcil- 
ed in Chrift ; for two cannot walk together unlcfs they he a- 
greed. When God acls gracioufly and favourably to- 
wards any, then he is faid to be with them ; and when he 
allows them to be in trouble, then he is faid to be far from 
them ; Pfal. x. i. Why ftandefl thou afar off^ O Lordf why 
hideft thou thyfelf in times of trouble f* His prefence includes 
his favour, which is better than life ; Lev. xxvi. 11./ will 
fet my tabernacle among you; and my foul Jh all not abhor you* 
Therefore when Ifrael had broken covenant with God, by 
the idolatrous worfliip of the calf, the Lord was fo offend- 
ed with them, that he denies them his prefence, faying, 
/ will fend an angel before thee^ and will drive out the Ca- 
naanites ; for I will not go up in the midfl of thee. When 
God's difpleafure was upon them, on account of lin ; when 
they were at odds with God, he would not dwell, nor 
walk among them : hereupon Mofes begs of the Lord to 
pardon them ; that is, to reconcile them to himfelf, that 
they might enjoy his prefence; Exod. xxxiv. 9. Lord^ 
let my Lord ^ I pray thee^ go amongjl us^ and pardon our ini- 
quity and our fn, and take us for thi?ie inheritance, AVhere- 
fore the Lord is with a perfon, or people, only when his 
fpecial favour is towards them, and they are reconciled to 
him through Chrift: Exod. xxxiii. 16. Wherein f hall it he 
known here^ that I and thy people have found ^race or favour 
in thy ftght? is it not in that thou goefl with usf 

3. It imj^lics Jpiritual com?nunior, betwixt God and them. 

400 Sovereign Antidotes againji Slavi/h Fear* 

They that are with one another, have communion or fel- 
lowfhip together. AVhcn our Lord is gracioufly with any 
perfon, he affords them fpiritual communion with himfclf; 
I John i. 3. Truly our fellowjhip is witb the Father^ and 
with bis Son Jefus Chrij}, They have communion with 
liini in his Hfe, in his love, in his grace, in his privileges, 
in his comforts, and all his benefits: he communicates to 
them the endeared fmiles of his countenance, the kiifes of 
his lips, and the embraces of his arms of mercy and fa- 
vour, which afford them a paradife of pleafure and delight; 
hence Mofes fo earneftly begged it, / befeech thee JJhw ms 
thy glory, David highly prized it, and preferred it to the 
fweeteff earthly enjoyments; Pfal. iv. 6. There be many 
that fay ^ Who will Jhew us any goodf Lord^ lift thou up the 
light of thy countenance upon us. And the apoftle did hear- 
tily wifli it to all the churches of Chrift j The grace of our 
Lord Jefus Chrift be with you all, 

4. It implies his guiding and direding them in all their 
ways, and efpecially in doubts and difficulties. Thus he 
dwelt in the midft of Ifrael in the wildernefs, and by his 
prefencc led them on fweetly and fafely ; Pfal. Ixxviii. 52. 
But made his own people to go forth like fljeep^ and guided them 
in the wildernefs like a flock ; and he led them on fafely^ fo that 
they feared not. What he did by a vifible token to the 
Ifraelites, the fame he doth invifibly to his people in all 
ages ; Exod. xiii. 2 i . And the Lord went before them by day^ 
in a pillar of cloudy to lead them the way ; and by nighty in a 
pilar of fire ^ to give them light ^ to go by day and night. They 
who are led. both by day and night, are never wjthout 
guidance : and if the old church had pillars to point out 
their way, much more hath the new. Mofes in his laft 
fong, gives an elegant defchption of this conducting pre- 
fence of God with Ifrael; Deut- xxxii. 10. He found him 
in a defart land^ and in the wajle howVmg wildernefs : he led 
him about ^ he iJiflrutled him^ he kept him as the apple of his 
eye, God found Ifrael in the wUdernefs, not by chance. 


Sovereign Antidotes agalnjl Slavipj Fear* 401 

but by a refolved, and gracious choice; and he manifcfl:- 
ed hlmrdf, as a leader there, where there was moll need 
of leading : and fo the faints o^ God are always led by him, 
but chiefly when in a wildcrneis condition. 

5. It imports his (i/fiji'mg theiil, both in doing goodt 
and oppofing evil. — \\\ doing good : I will be with thy mouth, 
iays he to Mofes, and teach thee what thou Jl? alt fay ^ Exod* 
iv. 12. He is alfo \^'ith their ear, and teacheth them how 
to hear ; with their heart, and teacheth them how to pray 
and praile ; and with 4:heir hands, teaching them how to 
work in peace, and fight in war, Pfal. cxHv. i. He teach- 
eth my hands to war^ and my fingers to fight: Without me^ 
iliys Chrifl, ye can do nothing ; and while he fays fo, he 
affures them that he will be with them in doing all things* 
— And as he is with them in doing good, fo alfo in oppofing 
evil^ viz. the evil of lin, to which they are tempted by 
Satan 5 fin within them, or in the world: and in bearing 
the evil of aiHiclion, whether laid on them by his owa 
fatherly hand, or by the malice of the wicked ; Ifa. xlii. 2» 
When thou pafefl through the waters^ I will be with thee / 
a7id through the rivers^ they fl' all not overflow thee^ Sec. 

6. It imports, that he proteds them in all dangers. His 
prefence with his people is their protection : thus Balaam 
could fay of Ifrael, Numb, xxiii. 21, 22. The Lord his God 
is with him^ and the fhout of a king is among them, God 
brought them out of Egypt ; he hath^ as it were^ the flrength 
of an unicorn. Surely there is no enchantment againft Jacob, 
nor divination againfl Ifrael. God's prefence with Ifrael 
protected them againfl: all Balaam's curfes and enchant- 
ments: and hence the church triumphed fo much in the 
faith of God's prefence; PfaL xlvi. 7, it. The Lord of 
bofls is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge. Upon this 
ground alio David fo fweetly encouraged himfelf, PfaL 
xxiii. 4. 7'ea, though I zvalk through the valley of the fimd^ 
dow cf death, I will fear no evil ; for thou art with ?7u\ 
God's prefence protected the three children in the fiery- 

E e c 

402 Sovereign Antidotes againfl Slavijlo Fear. 

furnace, and Daniel from the devouring lions. His pre- 
fence in the burning bufh, prefer ved it from being con- 
fumed ; that is, preferved Ifrael from being deftroyed in 
the midil of their enemies in Egypt : and fo God ufually 
aflures his people of his prefence, as the ground of their 
fafety, as in the text, Fear not^ I am ivith thee, 

7. It imports his providing for them in wants. Thus 
God brought Ifrael into a wildernefs, where there was 
neither food nor raiment; but he was with them, and 
therefore fupplied all their wants. He furnifhed a table for 
them : the heavens rained bread and flefh, and dreams of 
water ran conftantly from the rock : their feet did not 
fwell, nor their raiment wax old upon their backs : for 
forty years together, they wanted not God's prefence a- 
mong them ; and therefore they wanted nothing. His 
prefence is inftead of all fupplies ; it is health in ficknefs, 
ilrength in weaknefs, eafe in pain, honour in difgrace, 
wealth in poverty, and life in death. 

8. It imports his higheft communications of himfelf to 
them for their confolation ; Lev. xxvi. 11, 12. I will fet 
my tabernacle anwngfl yoii^ and my foul Jhall not abhor you ; 
and I ivill walk among you^ and will be your Gody and ye Jhall 
he my people. This is the fum and fubilancc, the fpring- 
head of all confolation, that the Lord is our God: this 
gives fatisfaction, infinitely beyond that of all created com- 
forts : this is the general and univerfal cordial againft all 
creature difcouragements, "The Lord thy God. Which leads, 

2^/v, To conlider the import of the fecond antidote a- 
gainft fear, "j/z. the nezv-covenant relation God flands in to 
his people. And, indeed, this nevv^-covenant grant is fo 
full of God, that it utterly tranfcends all words and 
thoughts : by it apprehenlion is dazzled, invention afto- 
nifhed, and expreiiion fwallowed up. It is far eaiier to 
tell what God is not, than what God is ; and confequently 
it is far eafier to tell what is not promifed, than w^hat is, 
when God himfelf is promifed : it is not riches, nor ho- 

Sovereign Antidotes agalnjl Slavijh Fear. 403 

nours, nor pleafurcs, nor friends, nor liberty, nor life, 
nor the whole world, nor- heaven's endlcfs felicity, nor 
any created treafure;'but fomething infinitely beyond all 
thefe : God lumfelf is promifed ; / ajn thy God, The au- 
thor of all other promifes is the matter of this : this pro- 
mife contains him, whom heaven and earth cannot con- 
tain ; who then can open up the import of it ? Who can by 
fearching find out Godf Only we may venture to fay, it 
imports in it thefe live things, viz, their interefl; and pro- 
perty in all that God is ; in all that he has ; 'in all that he 
is v/ont to do for his people; in all that he has promifed 
to do for them ; and in all that he can do for them. 

[i.] The new-covenant relation which God flahds in 
to his people, imports in it their intereft and property in 
all that God is, 

I. Conlidered ejfentially. The Lord is their God in all 
his attributes and perfections ; and they may lay claim to 
them all as engaged for their good : for when God fays, 
/ a?n thy God, he, as it were, delivers to them the key of 
all his attributes ; it is as if he fhould fay, All my effen- 
tial attributes and perfections are yours. — My eternity is 
yours; I am the eternal God, and while I A^r, I will be 
life and blefTednefs to you; Deut. xxxlii. 27. The eternal 
God is thy refuge. — My itnchancreableriefs is yours, to be an 
undiftiirbed repofe to your w^earied fouls : the immutabi- 
lity of my nature, my counfel, and my covenant, fhall 
be a firm foundation for your faith, and a living fpring 
for your everlafting confolation. — My omnipotent arm is your 
fure defence: / am the Almighty GOD, Gen. xvii. i. ; and 
your enemies fliall as foon enervate omnipotence as ruin 
you. — ybf faith fulnefs fhall be your fecurity to fulfil all my 
promifes to you, fo that at the end you fhall acknow- 
ledge, that not ought of any good thing I have fpoken unto you 
hath failed, all is come to pafs, — My mercy is yours, to fuc- 
cour your fouls, and to pardon your fins : " I am the 
" Father of mercies, and fuch a father I will be to you j 

E e e 2 

404 Sovereign Antidotes agahijl Slavijh Fear, 

^' I am the fountain of mercies, and this foimtain iliall be 
ever open to you ; my mercies are many, and they ihall 
' be multiplied towards you; very great, and they fliall 
be magnified upon you ; very fare, and they fhall be 
^' fo to you/* All my vt^ays fliali be mercy and truth. — 
My wifdom is yours, to give you direction, and advife you 
for good. It fhall be a light to you when you fit in dark- 
Befs: it will be your counieiior in flraits ; and your ene- 
juies confufion. By it I know how to dehver you out 
of temptation, and to referve the wicked to the day of 
judgment. — Islj hoUnefs fnall be yours, to fanffiify you ; 
and becaufe I am holy, ye fhall be holy. I am holy true- 
ly, coni:a.ntly, and univerfally ; fo will I fprinkle clean lua- 
ier ivpon you, and your fouls fliall be cleanfed from all your 
jilthirtefs. — yiy juflice fhall be yours, tojuftify you, to par- 
don your fins, and to give you the gracious reward of the 
eternal hiheritance, and to take vengeance on your ene- 
iiiies ; and while I heap acls of kindnefs in righteoufnefs 
on you, / vJill fpend mine arrows on your foes, 

2. AU tha*" he is perfonally, 1 John v. ;^. There are 
three that bear record in heaven^ the Father^ the Word^ and 
the Holy Gho/l ; and all thefe three are theirs, Ifa. liv. 5. 
For thy Mukers are thine Husband, The only true God, 
who is Father, Word, and Spirit, is theirs. Of whom, 
as Father ; in and through whom, as Son ; and by whoui, 
us Holy Gholl, all things are derived to them : they have 
a Father, to love them ; a Son, to redeem them ; and a 
SpiT it, to apply all to their fouls : their fpiritual ftate ftancis 
upon a fure bottom indeed. The impulfive caufe of it, is 
the good pleafure of the Father; the meritorious caufe of 
it, is the humiliation of the Son ;' and the applying caufe, 
is tlie influences of the Spirit. O vv'hat can they want, 
who have Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft to be theirs! 
2 Cor, xiii. \a. The grace of the Lord Jefus Chrijl^ and the 
love of God ^ and' the communion of the Holy Ghoft ^ be with you 
alL Jnisn, 

Sovereign -Antidotes againjl Slavijlo Fear. 405 

3. All that' God is relatively ; I mean, he is theirs in all 
his relations. When man fmned, God, as it were, faid 
to him. Henceforth 1 will not be your God, and ye iliall 
not be my people: I will not be yours, in any relation; 
Call their name^ Lo-ammi, tJjey are not my people. But now 
in the fair face of Immanuel, God fays, I will he your God; 
that is, 1 will ftand in all faving relations to you : fuch as, 

(i.) He is their Redeemer ; Ifa. xli. 14. I will help thee^ 
faith the Lord^ and thy Redeemer^ the holy One of IfraeL The 
eledl, as well as others, are naturally in bondage ; and the 
caufe of this is fin, and that confidered as a debt, and as 
a crime. They owed ten thoufand talents to God, as the 
great creditor: and they had rebelled againft him as the 
great law-giver ; and for this debt and rebellion, God fhut 
them up in the prifon of his wrath, from which the for- 
lorn captives could never have freed themfelves. Man 
eould ruin, but could not recover himfelf: therefore 
-Chrift became their Redeemer by price and power. All 
the gold and filver in the world, and ten thoufand times 
more, could not redeem one foul out of this Hate of bon- 
dage and flavery, to fin, Satan, and the wrath of God; 
therefore to accoinplifh the redemption of the foul, Chrift 
fhed his precious hbod^ i Pet. i. 18. He likewife redeems 
them by power, in confequence of redeeming them by 
price : the blood of Chrift delivers them out of the hands 
of law and juftice ; which being done, fin's power and 
Satan's authority fall of courfe, as the prifoner's chains, 
and the jaylor's authority over him do, when he gets a 
legal difcharge, Heb. ii. 14. 

(2.) He is their Shepherd; Pfal. xxiii. i. "the Lord is my 
fijepherd. Whatever kind offices a fhepherd performs to 
his flock, that their God does to them : He will feed them 
with the finej} ofHhe wheat ^ and fi^pply them with honey out 
of the rock, — As their fhepherd he leads them, by inform- 
ing them of the way, inclining and exciting them to walk 
in it, and ftreiithening and confirming them when weary; 

40 6 Sovereign Antidotes agairi/i SlaviJJj Fear. 

and this he does in the moft fweet and gentle manner: He 
leadeth me by the quiet wafers ; or, as in the margin, the 
'ivaters cf quiet nefs. — As their fhepherd he preferves them 
from all evil; John x. 9. / a?n the door^ by me if any man 
fb all enter in ^ he Jhallbe faved^ and Jhall go out andin; that 
is, with fafety, and flmll find faflure. The devil has been 
way -laying the fheep of Chrift, and attempting to deftroy 
them up^vards of five thoufand years ; and yet the eye of 
this fhepherd has been fo watchful, that he was never able 
to get the leaft lamb of the flock, nor ever fhall : they 
fliall be all folded in glory, and none of them fliall be lofl j 
John X. 27, 28. My fieep hear my voice ^ and I know them^ 
and they follow ?ne : and I give unto them eternal life^ 
and they fJmll never perij]^, neither fhall any pluck them out of 
my hand. Their God gathers them from their firfl difper- 
fic^n on the mountains of profanenefs, or unbelief; John 
X. 16. And other fheep I have which are not of this fold ; them 
aJfo I mufl bring in : and from their wanderings after con- 
veriion ; Pfal. cxix. 176. / have gone aft ray like a lofl fheep ^ 
fhek thy fervant : and at the day of judgment he will gather 
them all together, after which they fhall fcatter no more 
to eternity ; Pfal. 1. 5 . Gather my faints together unto me. 
Then indeed fhall there be one fold and one fhepherd. 

(3.) He is their Friend ; Song v. 16. 'This is my friend. 
Whatever kind offices one friend performs to another, 
their God performs to them : their God, as a friend, fym- 
pathizes with them in all their trials; Ifa. Ixiii. 9. In alt 
their affli6iion he was afflicled: — he fupplies their wants; 
Phil.iv. 19. iVfy God fiall fupply all your need^ according to his 
riches and glory ^ by Chrijl Jefus : — as their friend he reveals 
the counfels and fecrets of his heart to them ; John xv. 15. 
Henceforth I call ycu not fervant s ; for the fervant knoweth not 
what his Lord doth: but I have called you friends : for all 
thi?igs that I have heard of *my Father^ I have made known 
unto you: — and as a friend he pays them many vifits, both 
in ordinances^ Pfal. Ixiii. l* To fee thy power and thy glory ^ 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh FeaK '407 

fo as I have feen thee in the fanBuary : and in providences / 
there is no condition fo fad or forlorn, as to eftrange him 
from them ; nay, he takes thefe opportunities to be moft 
kind and frequent in his vifits. In trouble of confciencCj 
he vifits them with loving-kindnefs ; and in darknefs and 
perplexities, with the light and comfort of his Spirit. 

(4.) He is their Fhyfician ; Exod. xv. 2 6. / am the Lord 
that healeth thee. By nature they are lepers from head to 
foGt^ full of wounds^ bruifes, and putrtfying fores ^ which ren- 
der them unfit for glorifying God, or enjoying him for 
ever ; and even after they are born again there are fome 
remains of the difeafe: but the Lord Jefus is a phyfician to 
heal them. He is a phyfician for their bodies ; thus in the 
days of his flefh he opened the eyes of the blind, cleanfed 
the lepers, healed the fick, and raifed the dead: and he 
is a phyfician for their fouls ; Pfal. cxlvii. 3. He healeth the 
broken in hearty aiid hindcth up their zvoitnds. Never was 
there fuch a phyfician, never fuch a fkilful healer, for 
there is no difeafe too hard for him ; Pfal. ciii. 3. Blefs the 
Lord^ ?ny foul^ who healeth all thy difeafes. Never was 
there one fo generous, for he heals freely ; Ifa. Iv. 5 . He 
that hath no money let him come. Never was there a phy- 
fician that healed with fuch eafe : others apply very harlli 
and difagreeable medicines, but our Lord cures with a 
word. He fent his ivord and healed them ; or with a look, 
hence David cries. Look on me^ Lord, and prove merciful to 
Pie: and none cures fo fuccefsfully, for never one patient 
died under his care. 

[2.] It imports an intereft in all that he has : for, in 
giving himfelf he gives all things ; Rom. viii. ^1, He that 
fpared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how 
fhall he not with him alfo freely give us all things ? What 
God has, is infinitely lefs than what he is : if then he him- 
felf is ours, all that he hath mufi: be ours, fo far as is for 
his own glory and our good. And, O what hath he, 
or rather what hath he not to beftow upon us ! Are wc 

4^8 Sovereign Antidotes againft Slavi/Jj Fear. 

dead? he lias life to quicken us: are we difeafed? he has 
health : are we weak ? he has flrength ; are we in dark* 
nefs ? he hath light ; yea, he himfelf Ihall be our everlafl- 
ing light: are we defpifed, and reckoned the ofF-fcourings 
of the world ? he has honour to advance us : are we poor? 
he has wealth to enrich us: are we naked -^ he has riorhte- 
oufnefs to clothe us with: are we polluted with fin? he 
has holinefs to adorn us with : he has comfort to bear us 
up in this world, and glory to crown us with in the world 
to come. He is the grand, the fole proprietor of the u- 
niverfe ; The earth is the hordes ^ and the fulnefs thereof : 
heaven is his thrcne^ and earth his footftool : hell his prifon, 
and heaven his palace : angels are his minifters, and devils 
his executioners : all things natural and fupernatural, 
things terreilrial and celeflial ; all things pall, prefent, and 
to come are his, and fo theirs: i Cor. iii. 21, 22. All 
things are yours, God can deny them nothing to whom 
he has not denied himfelf. 

[3.] It imports an intereft in all that he is wont to do 
for his people: and he is wont to fupply their wants, Phil. 
iv. 19. : — to fupprefs their fears, Luke i. 74. 'That we^ be- 
ing delivered out of the hands of our ene?mes^ might ferve him 
without fear : — to prevent their dangers ; Gen. xlv. 5. God 
did fend me ^before you to preferve life': — he is wont to fup- 
port them under, deliver them from, and make them gain- 
ers by their ailliclions ; Pfal. xci. :— he is wont to prolong 
their lives, and fweeten their death ; Pfal. xci. 16. With 
lwi7 life will I fatisfy him^ and fl^ew hhn my fahation : — yea, 
he is wont to forgive all their fins ; Jer. xxxi. 33, 34. : — 
to give them his Spirit; Ezek. xxxvii. 14.:— to call them 
effeclually; Rom. viii. 30. Whom he did predeftinate^ them 
he alfo called: — to adopt them freely into his family ; i John 
Iii. I. Behold what manner of love the Father hath beflowed, 
upon uSy that wef/jould be called the fons of God! — to fanclify 
them thoroughly ; i IhcfT. v. 2 3. And the very God of peace 
fandify you wholly: — to fill them with joj( and peace in be- 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Fear, 409 

lieving: to fied abroad his love in their hearts : — to afTure 
them, by his Spirit, of the things that are freely given them 
of God: — to make them more than conquerors over all e- 
vils and enemies: — to endear himfelf to them by holy 
and fweet communion ; and at laft, completely to glorify 

them with himfelf in everlafting habitations. Thefe, 

and the like things, God is wont to do for his people; and 
all thefe are yours, if ye be favingly interefted in God 

[4.] It imports an interefl in all that God has fromifed 
to do : for this promife, of his being their God, is as the 
fea, to which, like rivers, all the other promifes do flow. 
I might therefore mention all the promifes of the new co- 
venant as included in this, but fliall confine myfelf to a 

1. The promife of the Spirit ; Ezek. xxxvi. 27, 28. / 
will -put my Spirit within you ; and ye Jhall he my people^ and 
I will he your God, When God gives himfelf he gives his 
-Spirit, which is the fpring of all grace and comfort : nor 
does he give him only in his gifts and graces, but alfo in 
his perfon ; he is put into their hearts, as the apoftle af- 
ferts. Gal. iv. 6. God hath fent forth the Spirit of his Son 
into your hearts ; that is, the Father hath fent the Spirit 
into our fouls, as the Spirit of his Son, procured by him 
fpr us, promifed by him to us, proceeding from him, as 
to his pcrfonal lubfillence, and fent by him as to his office, 
as a Spirit of adoption and confolation. O wonderful 

2. The promife of /^///j? ; Pfal. xxii. 31. They /J:f all come. 
Naturally wt are all under the power of unbelief; but in 
God's promiling to be our God, he promifes that we fhall 
believe, not with that temporary and feigned faith, which 
may be found in thofe who perilh, and which no more 
unites us to Chriil, than a thread or a piece of clay unites 
a branch to the ftock of a tree; but an unfeigned faith, 
which knits us to Chrift the head, and makes U3 one with 


41 o Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Fear. ' 

him; which retains Chrift in the heart: for faith is not 
only an hand to receive Chrift, but an arm to embrace 
and hold him fall there ; Eph. iii. 17. That Chnfl may dwell 
in your hearts by faith. It is that faith which frees the 
foul from the guiit of fin, by receiving Chrift's righteouf- 
nefs, the ground of juftiiication ; and which purifies the 
heart from the pollution of iin, as it receives and improves 
his grace : that faith which refrefhes the foul with joy and 
peace ; with peace, in that we are now reconciled to God, 
by the blood of his Son ; with joy, in that Chrijl is in us the 
hope of glory : that faith which lies not idle, but works by 
love ; not llaviihly, but fweetly and chearfully. Gal. v. 6. : 
that faith which quickens and enlivens the foul ; for faith 
is the hfe of the Chrilfian, Gal. ii. 20. The life which I now 
live in the Jlefh^ I live by the faith of the Son of God. The 
foul i5 the life of the body, faith the life of the foul, and 
Chrift and the promifes, or Chrift in the promifes, is the 
life of that faith : it is the faith by which we conquer all 
our fpiritual foes, by fetching courage and ftrength from 
Chrift : by it we conquer the flefb within, while it deter- 
mines and enables us to purify ourfelves, even as God is 
pure ; and the world without, while it enables the believer 
to be denied to the world's enfnaring fmiles of profperity, 
on the one hand ; and to defpife the perplexing frowns of 
adverfity, on the other. Faith likcwife conquers the de- 
vil ; I Pet. V. 9. Whom refifl ye fledfafl in the faith. In fliort, 
it is that faith which Vv^iii put all our foes to flight, and 
having done all, fhall triumphantly keep the field, and re- 
ceive the crown. 

3. The promife of the infcription of his laws upon their 
hearts; Jer. xxxi. 33. I zvill put my law in their inward 
parts ^ and write it in their hearts ; and I will be their God. 
By nature the law of God is crazed out of the foul, and 
the law of fin infcribed : but when God promifes to be our 
God, he promifes to eraze the law of fin, and infcribe his 
own ; and when this is done the people of God have a 

Sovereign A?itidotes againjl SlaviJJj Fear, 41 


double law to rule and guide thcin, onewltliin, and another 
without: and the law within is more viu^orous, and fweetly 
compulfive than the law without; for it makes a man a 
law to himfelf. 

4. The promife of a heart to know himfelf; Jer. xxiv. 
7. And I will give thun an heart to knc^iv nic^ that J am the 
Lord; and they fl.Hill he 7ny people^ and I zuill be their God* 
By a heart to know him, we are to underfland, a Ibul fo 
fanclified, that it Ihall be acquaint with Iiim, not only as 
the true God, but as their own God in Chrift ; not only 
as the eternal Bein^: of beinG:s, but alfo as the covenant- 
making, the covenant-keeping, and promife-performing 
Jehovah, and that truly and favingly. Such knowledge 
none can have of him, but fuch as have him for their 

5. The promife of an heart cf fieJJ) ; Ezek. xi. 19, 20. 
And I will take away the flony heart out of their JleJJ: ^ and I 
will give them an heart of flejh ; that they may walk in my 
flat lit eSy and keep mine ordinances^ and do them; and they 
fhall be my people^ and I will be their God. The llony heart 
is an hard, inflexible, and untraclable heart, that will not 
bow nor yield to any imprellion from the word of God ; 
and this is the natural temper of the heart of man, but 
this God will take away. The heart of flcfh is a broken, 
contrite, flexible, and obedient heart, moved by the Lord 
diS, lie plcafes ; and fuch a heart the Lord their God will 
give : fuch a heart is God's facriiice, and he will not de- 
fpife it; yea, with fuch a heart he will dwell, Ifa. Ixvi. 2. 

[]5 .] It implies in it their interefl: in all that God can do : 
hence is that expreflion. Gen. xvii. i. I am the Almighty 
God, walk before me and be thou perfed: which is, as if l\^. 
had faid, as I am the Almighty ; nothing that I can do 
for thee, fhall be wanting: and, O what cannot omnipo- 
tence do? He dot)! great things and unfe arch able ^ marvellous 
things without number ^ Job v. 9, Thefe are properties pecu- 
liar to God's works \ he does great things : he is a great God, 

Fff 2 

412 Sovereign Antidotes cigairjl Slavijh Fear, 

and his works are great works, and unfearchable ; as God 
in hinifcif is great, and of his greatnefs there is no fearch: 
io hkev/ife his works. — And they are marvellous ; Pfai. 
Ixxv. I . 'That thy name is near^ thy Wondrous works declare : 
• — and without number; God has done fo many wondrous 
works, that it is impoffible for man to reckon them up. 
O what wonders has he wrought for his people in all ages? 
It was he who faved Noah from perifhing in the deluge: 
it was he who refcued Lot out of Sodom : it was he who 
paved a way for Ifrael through the depths of the Red-fea, 
as if it had been dry land : it was he who bade the flinty * 
rock pour forth water to follow and refrefh the chofen 
tribes, all the way in their travels tin ough the parched wil- 
dernefs: it was he who fufpended the fury of the devour- 
ing flames, flopped the fun's career, and made the ftars 
in their courfes to fio^ht asrainfl Sifera. What the mi2:ht 
of Omipotence is, we know not, we cannot underfland ; 
only we may fliy, he can do all things he has a mind to 
do ; Job xxiii. 13. He is in one 7ni?id^ and who can turn himf 
£ind what his foul dtfireth even that he doth: yea,, he can 
do all thing; not inccnfiftent with his nature and perfec- 
tions: accordin:^ to this rule he cannot die, becaufe he is 
life; he cannot deceive, becaufe he is the truth: but o- 
therwife notliing is beyond his power. And all he hath \ 
done as yet, is nothing to v^'hat he can do; for he hath 
Bever exerted anvof his attributes to the hi^hefl: he ne- 
ver hath exerted his power fo high but he is able to exert 
it much farther; he hath never exerted mercy in pardon- 
ing fo far, bat he may exert it farther: a greater fmner 
than ever yet was pardoned, m.ay be pardoned ; a greater 
enemey then ever Vv^as overcome, may be overcome. He 1 
can do more than we can afk or think; and all is ours, 
if God be ours. I go on now, 

III. To the Third general Head, viz. To illuilrate the 
%'lrtue of thefe antidotes a,2:ainft fear. And as we viewed 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl SlaviJI? Fear. 413 

the two antidotes in the text feparately, fo we ihall con- 
fider their refpcclive virtues diftinclly by themfelves. 
ly?, God's prefcnce with his people is a noble antidote 
' againil fear, on th^ following, among other accounts. 

1. His being prefent with them he obferves and lays to 
heaA all their trials ; being fo, he*cannot but know their 
alHicled cafe. He was in the midfl; of the bufh burning 
with lire ; and therefore he perfectly knew the force of 
that fire, and how feverely the bufh fmarted in it: hence 
he fpoke in fuch a fympathizing ftrain ; / have feen^ I have 
feen the affliBion of my people which are in Egypt ^ and have 
heard their cry, by reafon of their tafk-mafters ; for I know 
their forrows : and I am come down to deliver them out of the 
hand of the Egyptians^ Exod. iii. 7, 8. He knows their for- 
rows, and pities them ; he pities them, and delivers them: 
he obferves, and lays to heart every ftripe they bear, and 
every groan their afflictions draw forth, and every tear 
they filed ; not one of all thefe fliall be neglecled or for- 
gotten, by their God being always prefent with them. 
Now, as to be neglecled or unpitied in mifery, is a great 
aggravation of it ; fo to be pitied and commiferated un- 
der diilrefs, tends much to alleviate it. 

2. Being prefent wdth them he will uphold them under 
all the fearful things they may meet with, and keep them 
from being overcome, or overthrown thereby: fo that 
though they be troubled on every fide, yet they are not di- 
fl^^effed ; though perplexed, yet not in defpair ; though perfecut- 
ed, yet not forfaken ; though caft down, yet not deftroyed: and 
hence it follows the words of our text, / will uphold thee 
with the right' hand of 7ny right eoufnef , And to the fame 
purpofe fays David, Pfal. xli. 12. As for me thou upholdefl 
vie in mine integrity, and fettefl me before thy face for ever : 
but how was this evinced ? he informs, ver. 11. By this 
I know that thou favoured]} me, hecaufe mine enemy does net 
triumph over me. He had to do with perfecuting adver-. 
faries^ who were rejoicing to hear of bis diflrefs, who had 

414 Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavjjlj Fear. 

their fccrct cabals, and clofs counfels to do him mifghief ; 
and with thcni even his familiar friend confpircd : but God 
did not forfake hiiii, but upheld him in his integrity ^ and 
Jet him before his face continually^ that he might fee none 
fhould harm him : and thus he was made to Hand againft 
all their defigns. At another time when he was forced 
to flee for his life to the wildernefs of Judca, from Saul, 
1 Sam. xxii. 5. he found the fame effecl of the divine pre- 
fence, Pfal. Ixiii. 8. 'Thy right-hand upholdeth jue : and by 
this the people of God are made to endure the llorm, ^vith 
much patience and fortitude. The primitive Chriftians 
experienced this, when, with fuch admirable patience, 
they endured, the moft exquilite torments their perfecu- 
tors could invent. And the hiftory of the perfecutions in 
our own land confirm this, that when no man Itood by 
them, the Lord flood with them and flrengthened them. 
Without God's fupporting prefence, the trials of the Lord's 
people would break their backs ; but how eailly can we 
endure the worft that men and devils can do, if we have 

3. God*s being prefent preferves from defirutlion, Pfal. 
cxxiv. I, 2, 3. If it had not been the Lord 'ujho was en our 
fide^ IV hen men rofe up againft us^ then they had fw allowed 
us up quick. It was God's prefence in the burning bufli 
that kept it from being confumed. It was God's prefence 
v.'ith the three children in the iier^'-fumace that preferved 
them from being burnt to death by the mercilefs flames ; 
yea, from the fmell of the fire on their garments: for 
there was a fourth with ihem like the Son of God. It 
was God's prefence with Daniel in the den among hungry 
lions, that fhut their mouths, that they did not tear him 
to pieces. When God is with us we are in fafety ; and 
if he do not help, no creature can : if he do, no creature 
can hurt us ; Pfal. iv. 8. / will both lay me down in peace 
and fleep ; for thou Lord only ma kef me to dwell in fafety, 
4* His being prefent with them avenges them of their 

Sovereign Antidotes ^gainjl Slavijh Fear. 41^ 

enemies, who are inftrumental in aiflicling them, or in 
ao-o-ravating their afflidions. 1 hus his pretence with Urael 
laved them in the midft of the fea, and drowned their 
enemies the Egyptians. God looked through the pillar of 
fire and of the cloud to the hoft of the Egyptians, and 
troubled them, fo that they were confounded, and faid, 
Lft us flee from the face of Ifrael^ for the Lord fighteth for 
them. God's prefence with the three Jews call into the 
ficry-furnace, which preferved them, caufed the flame to 
confume the men who bound them, and threw them into 
the fire, Dan. iii. 2 2. 

5. God's being prefent with them feafonahly delivers 
them out of all their troubles ; Jer. xlvi. 27, 28. But fear 
not tboUy my fervant Jacob ; and be not difmayed^ Ifrael ; 
for behold I will fave thee from afar off^ and thy feed from the 
land of their captivity : and Jacob fJ: all return^ and he in refl^ 
and at eafe^ and none Jhall make him afraid. Fear thou not^ 

Jacobs my fervant ; for I am with thee: for I will make 
a full end of all the nations^ whither I have driven thee ; but 

1 will not make a full end of thee^ but correct thee in meafure ; 
yet will I not leave thee wholly unpunifl)ed. It is faid of Zion, 
Pfal. xlvi. 5. God is in the mid/I cf her: AVhat then ? what 
will become of her when ihe falls into trouble ? God will 
help her, and that right early. Deliverance is a native 
^^Qci of God's prefence with his people in the time of 
trouble ; thus when God had declared his prefence in the 
burning bufh, that is, in the afili6ted church, he adds, 
/ am come down to deliver them out of the hand of the Egypti- 
ans. He was with Jofeph in prifon, and in irons, to de- 
liver him from them, and make him ruler of the land of 
Egypt. And thus God's promife runs to every true be- 
liever, that makes the almighty his refuge, and the moft 
high his habitation ; / will be with him in trouble to deliver 
him. If Chrift be in the Ihip during a ftorm, the difciples 
need not doubt of their fafe arrival on the fhore. 

6. His prefence changes the very riaturs of their trials. 

41 6 Sovereign Antidotes cgainjl Slavi/I: Feai\ 

Thus he promifes to his afflicted Jacob, firfl his prefence> 
and then the changing of their affliclions ; Ifa. xliii. 2- 
When thou paffefl through the waters I will he with thee^ &c. 
His prefence with Daniel in the lion's den changed the de- 
vouring lions into harmlefs lambs : the lions were intend- 
ed to be his executioners, and the den his 2"rave : but the 
den became his fafe retreat, and the lions his quiet and 
peaceable companions. His prefence made a martyr as 
he was at the flake in the midft of the flaming fire, cry 
out, " O ye Papills, ye look for miracles, and here now 
" ye may fee a miracle ; for in this fire I feel no more pain 
*' than if I were on a bed of downs : but it is to me a bed 
" of rofes." By the influences of his prefence their fuf- 
ferings are 10 changed, that they are as no fufferings ; la- 
ther fhadows of them than realities : — as it were reproach, 
yet glory and honour : — as it were imprifonment, and yet 
enlargement: — as it were pain, and yet eafe. After this 
manner, Paul declares his own and other minifler's ex- 
perience, 2 Cor. vi. 8, 9. As deceivers^ and yet true ; as un- 
kncwHy and yet well known ; as dyings a?id yet behold we live ; 
as chaflened^ and not killed ; as forrowful^ yet alway rejoicing ; 
as fcor, yet making many rich ^ as having nothings mid yet 
fojfejjln^ all thi?igs. 

7. God's prefence is conjlant and abiding. His people, 
indeed, under long and heavy afiliclions, may fometimes 
think and complain, that the Lord hath forfaken and for- 
gotten them, and caft them out from his love and power, 
as the Jews did in the Babylonifh captivity ; Ifa. xlix. 14. 
Zion faidj The Lord hath forfaken me^ and my Lard hath for- 
gotten me. And when they are under a thick and black 
cloud of diflrefs, how hard a thing is it often to .behold 
any beam of the light of God's countenance? But not- 
withilanding all thefe fad apprehenfions, he will not for- 
get nor forfake, nor alienate his love from them in afilic- 
tion; Ifa. xli. 17. When the poor and needy feek water and 
there is -none ^ and their tongue faiktb for thirfl^ I. the Lord 

Sovereign Anti.htes againjl Slavl/h Fear. 4 1 7 

nvill hear them^ I the God of Ifrael ivill not forfake them. 
And when Zion faid, ^he Lord hath for faken me, what fays 
the Lord ? Can a iconian forget her fucking child^ that fJje 
f]?vuld not have compajfion on the fon of her wombf Tea^ they 
3nay forget ] yet will I not forget thee, A mother may be 
fo unnatural as to forget her child, her fucking child, her 
man child; but God will not forget his aillicled people: 
for a conilant memorial of them, He hath graven thera up' 
on the palms of his hands ^ and their walls ^ that is, either 
their ruined walls, or their intended walls, in the idea and 
model of them, are continually before him ; ftili in his 
thoughts how they fhall be raifed. How iliould the con- 
fideration of this hold up their heads and hearts in the 
deepeft diftreiles! Whoever forget, or forfake them, and 
withdraw affection from them in diilrefs, their God (hall 
never do any of thefe ; and therefore in the worft they can 
meet with, they are fafe. 

idly^ Let us now confider a little the virtue of the fe- 
cond antidote againfl; fear, / am thy God: thou haft a pro- 
perty in me, and I am thine. Now, if we would know 
what property in general is, the apoftle will tell U3, Acls 
V. 4. fpeaking of the land which was fold by Ananias and 
Sapphira : Whiles it remained^ was it not thine own? and 
after it was fold^ %vas it not in thine own power? So then^ 
for a man to have a thino: for his own, is to have it in his 
OW41 power, to do with it as he thinks bell. Lhus, for 
example, fuppofe a man had money in his pocket, and 
wants bread, he has this money in Iiis own power, to dif- 
pofe of it for the fupply of his wants : fo God's being our 
own God, imports, that as far as God v/ill go for a man's 
ufe, and for the fupply of all his neceiiities, fo far he is 
engaged to give forth himfelf for that perfon's good. If 
a man be in debt, and hath an eilate of his own, he may 
make ufe of it to the beft advantaorc, to free him from his 
debt: juft fo, as far as God can reach with his all-fuliici- 
cncy, the believer may draw upon him for whatever he 

41 8 Sovereign Antidotes againji Slavijh Fear. 

needs; for his right m God, is jaft as good, as his right 
to his money or land. Now, let us confider what a pro- 
perty and treafure God is, and it will appear that fach as 
are poflefled of it need fear nothing. 

1 . Let us confider the excellency of this treafure. Men 
may be pofTefTed of many things, which yet may be lictle 
worth : there is a great difference betwixt the poffeiling 
a heap of duft, and a heap of diamonds ; he that hath the 
one may be a becr2:ar, and the other, having: the fame 
quantity, is the richelt man in the world : fo, they who 
have God for their God, are the richeft perfons in the two 
worlds of heaven and earth, bv reafon of the excellencies 
that are in him. Some men have only a few acres of land; 
but thefe few acres, becaufe of the richnefs of the foil and 
lituation, are better than thoufands of others in a defart: 
well, juft fo here, fo rich is God, and every thing in him, 
that if I may be allowed the exprellion, the fmalleft mea- 
fure of property in him, is worth the largeft of the moft 
valuable thing in the world. All things that are given 
us to enjoy, are but beams from this fun: if therefore, 
there is fo much g^lorv in the beams, what is there in the 
body of the fun himfeif. David, when he confidered the 
countenance of the Lord, and the fuperlative excellencies 
that are therein, breaks out in admiration thereof, Pfal.iv. 6. 
While others look for, and defire after corn, wine, and 
oil, he looks for God's gracious countenance ; and hav- 
ing it, he lies down and iieeps as one fully fatiated. Silver 
and gold are not to be compared with the excellency which 
15 in God, who is the believer's portion. The apoftle 
Peter, comparing thefe with the blood of Chrift, fays, 
they are but corruptible things : in comparifon thereof how 
much more is God himfeif, which the blood of Chrift 
brings us to I 

2. Confider the virtue of this treafure. Having God, 
many things in the world are of worth, which are but 
very infignificant in themfelves. Many things are worth a 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavi/Ij Fear. 419 

vaft fum of money in value, wliich, when they come to be 
ufed, are but very unprofitable; they cannot cure the fick, 
nor warm the cold, nor flrengthen the weak, nor refrefli 
the weary: fuch are ^\\vqv and p;old ; thefe can never af- 
ford nourifliment to a perfon, becaufe they have none in 
them. A little bread in time of famine, and water when 
one is thirfty, are of more ufe than all the gold in the 
Indies. Bat our Lord is not more precious in himfelf, 
than he is full of virtue to thefe whofe God he is ; he is 
meat to the hungry, drink to the thirfty, raiment to the 
naked, health to the difeafed, &c. They who have this 
treafure may j*uftly fay with Paul, As hav'nig nothuig^ yet 
fojjejjtng all things. 

3. Coniider the quantity of this treafure, which cannot 
be comprehended. In one God is every thing: he is a 
bundle of all perfecl-ions. All the difperfed excellencies 
in the world meet in him ; therefore, w hen he fays, / a?n 
thy God, he fays as much as can be faid. God can fill the 
vaft deftres of his immortal foul up to the brim : he hath 
enough for himfelf; and muft therefore have enough for 
us. The water which fills the fea, will much more fill a 
cup: My people Jh all be fafisjied with ?ny goodnefs, faith the 
Lord^ Jer. xxxi. 14. God is an infinltcnefs, a vaftnefs, 
far above your capacity. Believers, be yc as empty as 
the creature can be, ye arc but as a fmall cup to be filled 
with the waters of the whole ocean. I'he Lord is fo full, 
that much of this fulnefs flows out by a iiood-gatc, becaufe 
there is more than will run throuerh your narrow pfDes : 
but ftill there is as much as will keep it in perpetual mo- 
tion. — Are ye fick ? God has health in him : — are ye poor ? 
he has wealth in him : — are ye difconfolate ? he is the God 
of all confolation : — are ye fools ? his wifdom is infinite : 
— are ye weak? he is omnipotent : — are ye darknefs? he 
is light: — are ye enmity? he is love. There is no in- 
firmity about you, but for it there is a fovercign remedy 
with him. 

Ggg 2 


420 Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijfj Fear. 'H 

4. Confider the fuitablenefs of this treafure. O how 
fa'table a treailire is God, to thoie who have him to be 
theirs I He is a fpiritual good, and fo fuitable to their im- 
material fouls : drofiy and earthly comforts fuit not a Spirit, 
your ioul is no litter to have gold put into it, than are 
thy bags to have grace put into them. — He is a living God: 
the creature is a dtA<\, lumpiih, and inactive thing, and 
helps not ix\ the evil day, but like Abfolom's mule, it 
goes from under us, and leaves us in our diftrefTes ; but 
God relieves the foul, and affords ftreno^thenino^ confola- 
tions. — He is a frefent help in the time of trouble, and 
either preferves hom, or fufiains under adverlity. O how 
fuitable is this treafure to all their faculties ! God is the 
light of his people's underftandings, without whom all their 
lip;ht would be but darknefs. God is the tranquillity of 
their confciences, without whom ail the peace thereof is 
but carnal fecurity. God is the fv/eet treafure laid up in 
their memories, without whom all the impreffions there- 
on were nothing but vanity. God is the rule of their 
wills, without whom all the uprightnefs therein is but 
crooked. God is the crown of their defires, without 
whom nothing in heaven or earth is defirable.' God is 
the loadiione of their .love, without Vv-hom nothing is ami- 

5. Coniider tiie imfnlxednefs Oy this treafure. God is 
an unniixed good, and hath nothing in him but goodnefs. 
He is an ocean of fweetnefs, without one drop of gall: 
he is beaiity v\-ithout any deformity : He is altogether lovely, 
There is nothing in him the foul could fpare^ or wilh were 
abfent. Every creature is a bitter-fweet, and fo poor a 
pomfort, that its bitternefs is neceffary to the very being 
of its iWeecnefs ; for had it not a bitternefs, its fweetnefs 
would be loathfome: but though God be altogether de- 
lightful, yet he never clogs; but the more he is enjoyed, 
the more he pleafes the poiTeiTor, Pfal. xxxvi. 8. 

d. Confider the dimity and highnefs of this treafure : for 


Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavi/Io Fear. 421 

lie is the mod high God ; the fuprcnic good : indeed, the 
only good, from whofe goodnels every good thing flows. 
It was mucli that God laid to Abraham, Fear not^ I am thy 
Jh'ield^ and thy reiuard ; thy great ^ thy exceeding great re- 
ward: it was more that he faid to David concerning his 
feed, / ivUl he to him a Father^ and he JhaJl be to me a Son: 
but it is mod of all that God faith in the text, / will be 
their God. God is higher than heaven and earth ; than 
grace and glory ; than things prefent and to come ; than 
men, angels, or fcraphims: and therefore when he makes 
over himfelf, he makes over the higheft good. The whole 
covenant of grace is like a rich ring of gold, or chain of 
pearls : but this promife is the largeft diamond in the ring, 
and the moft precious pearl in the chain ; it is the very 
crown and top excellency in all the promifes. 

7. Confider \.\\t fiveetnefs of this property. It gives us 
right to and property in the fweetefl: good. God is light, 
without obfcurity: how fweet is fuch light to the mind! 
God is life, without mortality; how fweet is fuch life to 
the foul I God is peace, without perplexity ; how fweet is 
fuch peace to the confcience! God is love, without mu- 
tability ; how fweet is fuch love to the heart ! Yea, God 
is all fweetnefs ; and whatever fweetnefs is among the 
creatures, it originally flows from this uncreated fweet- 
nefs of God. O then, how incomparably fweet is it to 
have property in this God ; to have this God for our God 
for ever ! This property is an antidote againft all gall and 
bitternefs: bavins; God to be ours, the bitternefs of wrath 
is paft J for God is theirs to love them : the bitternefs of 
fin is pail ; for God is theirs to juilify them perfectly, and 
fanclify them wholly : the bitternefs of death is paft ; for 
God is theirs to arm them againft death, to pluck out the 
fting of death, and at laft totally to redeem thern from the 
ftate of death, and from all poffibility of dying any more. 
O how infinitely fweet is that God that thus fweetens all 
our bitternefs ! how fweet that promife that makes God" 
our own! 

4^2 Sovereign Antidotes agalnjl Slavifh Fear. 

8. Conlider thtfurenefs of this property. There is no 
conflancy in other treafures ; and hence they are called 
uncertain riches. We are not certain that we fhall keep 
them while we live ; for riches make themf elves wings and 

flee aivay : but we are certain, if they do not leave us we 
fliall leave them ; we brought nothing into this world, and 
it is certain we ihall carry nothing out of it. As brooks in 
winter are carried with violence, and run in a mighty 
llream, flowing over with abundance of water on every 
fide, when there is no need of water ; but in the heat of 
fummer are dried up when water is fcanty and rare to be 
had y fuch is the friendihip of the world : it will promife 
us many things, when v/e have need of nothing: but 
when affli6lion overtakes us, it is like a ditch in fummer 
'without any water to refrefh: and thofe who derive all 
their happinefs from it become like trees withered for want 
of fap. But this treafure is fure ; all the promifes of the 
covenant being yea^ and amen ; the fure mercies of David. 
The covenant of grace, which contains all the ftock of the 
people of God, is liable, indfure in all things : and if fo, 
how fure is this with which God is wont to clofe up all 
his other promifes ; Lev. xx, 24. But I have f aid unto you^ 
ye Jhall inherit their land^ and I will give it unto you to pof 
fefs it ; a land that floweth with milk and honey : I am the 
Lard your God^ which have feparated you from other people. 
This laft claufe he adds as a ftrong bond, or firm feal to 
his other promifes, and no wonder ; for if God will per- 
form this greateft of bleflings, he will never deny or with- 
hold any inferior one. If he gives that which implies all 
good, which is the fountain of all good, furely he can 
count no good thing too dear for us: he that fpares not 
to give himfelf, How fhall he not freely give us all things f 

9. Confider the perpetuity of this treafure. God is a 
never-failing good ; / will never leave thee^ nor for fake thee. 
A fountain which the hottefl fummer never dries ; a trea- 
fure never emptied ^ one whofe perfections never leave 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Fear. 423 

himfelf ; and one who never leaves any that truly enjoy- 
ed him: and hence the Pfalmift fings, Whenfiejh and heart 
faileth^ God is the Jlrength of viy heart and my fortion for e- 
ver^ Pfal. Ixxiii. 26. All other bleffings have theu' ebb- 
in gs and Sowings ; their youth and age; growth and death; 
their coming and going: but God, the property of his 
people, is always the fame, without the leaft variablenefs 
or ihadow of turning ; and being from everlafting to ever- 
lafting God, he is to everlafting his people's God. Many 
one out-lives their treafure, but this treafure will out-lall: 
the faint, though he were to fee the age of a Methufalah 
twice told : for he is his people's God, when dead ; as he 
was the God of Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob, after they 
were gone. He will be his people's guide even unto death, 
and their God for ever and ever. 

What then fliould the people of God fear ? Of whom 
fliould they be afraid, who have fuch company, and who 
have him for their God ? Is not every caufe of fear hereby 
entirely removed, and the moft encouraging motive ad- 
miniftred ? Though they walk in the midft of trouble ; 
though they ftand in the field of battle, againft the com- 
bined armies of earth and hell, and the body of fin and 
death within them ; though they travel through dangers 
and difficulties on every fide ; yet they are abfolutely fafe: 
they are more than match for their enemies ; they are fure 
of complete victory at laft ; and as fure of a crown of 
rightcoufnefs, and a place before the heavenly throne 
when they are brought out of thefe great tribulations. — 
You cannot defire better company for cheering your hearts, 
for keeping you fafely, and leading you through life. You 
may fall feven times a day ; but you fliall never fall into 
mifchief and condemnation. Your troubles, it is true, 
may be great ; your enemies we know are numerous and 
formidable, and apt to make you cry out, IVe are not able 
to go out againjl fuch a great hojl as this. But be not diC- 
couraged, there are more with you than againft you : and 

424 Sovereign Antidotes agalnjl Slavljlj Fear. 

you may be as fure of viclory oyer them, as if you were' 
already on the throne with pahns in your hands ; for you 
have all the llrength and fafety that God can afibrd : 
Fear not^ for I am with thee ; be not difmayed^ I am thy God, 
The Lord is thy keeper ; the Lord is thy Jhade upon thy right- 
hand: the fun fhall not finite thee by day ; Jior the moon by 
night. The Lord fij all preferve thee from all evil i he fhall 
preferve thy foul. The Lord fhall preferve thy going out^ and 
thy coming in, from this time forth, and for ever7nore. 

IV. I propofed to make fome practical improvement of 
this fubjecl ; and this may be eflayed in feveral ufes. 

i/?, By way of information, in the following particu- 

1. Hence fee the admirable bounty of our Lord to his 
people, in vouchfafing them his gracious and favourable 
prefence ; and what is more, making over himfelf to them 
as their property ; Fear not, I am thy God, What is it 
that is made over to them \ It is God himfelf. If heaven 
and earth, and all the created treafures and fulnefs of both 
had been promifed, all had been nothing to this : for what 
are the creatures to the Creator; the finite w^orld to the 
infinite God? Such is our Lord's bounty that he thinks 
not his creatures enough for his covenant-people ; above 
them, there is fome further happinefs to be defired, there- 
fore he beftows himfelf, that they may have enough ; for ' 
beyond him nothing can be defired. He will be their pro- 
tection, their portion, their honour, their delight, their 

.life, their liberty, their father, their friend, their head, 
their hufband : he will be all thefe to them ; yea, he will 
be infinitely more: he will be their God. Oh! it cannot 
be exprefled, it cannot be conceived! therefore it fhould 
be admired. Was ever bounty like this bounty, or mercy 
like this mercy ! 

2. Here learn th.t fulnefs of the new covenant. Why? 
It has God in it j it hath God's all in it, and our all in it : 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl SlaviJJo Pear. ^1$ 

Fear not, I am with thee. O how rich a covenant is this! 
What is there in the whole world prefent, or to come, of 
temporals, fpirituals, and eternals, that come not within 
the verge of this new-covenant grant, / a?n thy Godf What 
fulnefs is there not in God? glory, majefty, life, love, 
grace, mercy, goodnefs, fweetnefs, beauty, blelTed- 
nefs, purity, righteoufnefs, and peace ; yea, all that is 
defirable is in God: he made all things, he hath all things, 
and he is all things to his people. AVhat fulnefs can they 
defire that is not here? What can they deiire that God 
cannot fatiate ? 

3. Here fee, that it is ^ifalfe way of valuing one's felf 
or others by any worldly enjoyments. Gains or lofTes are 
to be eftimated by the enjoyment of more or lefs of God. 
The titles of fubftance, profit, and goods are abufively 
given to riches-; for without an intereft in God they are 
but fhadows, lolTes, and evils : they, like the fieve in the 
water, are only full, when enjoyed in God ; empty, when 
without him. ' 

4. Hence fee the digiiity, riches, and happiiiefs of God's 

(i .) Their dignity, in that they have God to be their God, 
and prefent with them. By nature, they were without 
God, and without ChrilT:, as well as others; and had not 
obtained mercv more than others : but God has taken 
them into a covenant-relation to himfelf, Vv-hiie others re- 
main ftrangers to the covenant of promife : he has diftin- 
guiilied them from all others, as fliecp from goats ; as the 
people of God, from thefe that are not a people ; as thefc. 
that have obtained mercy, from thefe that have not ob- 
tained mercy : and herein he hath highly honoured and 
exalted them ; hath dignified them above all the crowned 
heads on earth ; hath fet them on his right-hand of grace, 
and will fet them on his right-hand of gloiy : Thus Jhall 
tt he done to the man whom the kind delig-hteth to honour. Oh ! 

H hh 

426 Sovereign Antidotes againft Slavijh Fear. 

let them not debafe themfelves by any courfe or carriage 
unworthy of God, feeing he has honoured them with 

(2.) Their riches : they have God to be their God, and 
how much that includes none can tell. I remember A- 
braham's fervant, going to feek a wife for his mailer's fon, 
fald, The Lord hath blejfed my tnajler greatly^ and be is becojne 
great ^ and he hath given him flocks and herds ^ andfilver and 
goldy and man-fervants and maid-fervants^ and camels and 
ajjes. He related much of Abraham's wealth ; but the 
one half was not told: he mentioned not the riches of his 
riches, that God had given himfelf to Abraham as his re- 
ward, his great reward. Had Abraham wanted this, he 
would have been a poor man notwithflanding all his other 
riches ; but having this, he was eminently rich, tho' he 
had wanted all other things which the world calls riches. 
O the riches of the believer ! 

(3.) Their happinefs : they have God with them and to 
be theirs. God is the fupreme happinefs and centre of 
felicity, and all confluence of worldly enjoyments cannot 
render us fo happy as the enjoyment of one God ; Pfal. 
cxliv. 15. Happy is the people that is in fuch a cafe ; that is; 
flouriihing with all worldly peace and profperity : but, 
by way of corre^lion, it is added ; Tea^ happy is that peo^ 
pie wbofe God is the Lord. Some take thefe words in con- 
junclion with the preceding, as declaring their happinefs 
for whom the Lord their God fo profperouily provides, 
efpecially to whom he gives himfelf as their portion ; but 
others view them as disjoined from the preceding vaTes: 
as if he had faid, thus ftrange children and vain fpeakers- 
have called the people happy that are in fuch a cafe ; but 
I, and all the children of God, differ from them, for we 
think them the only happy people whofe God is the Lord. 
This being the cafe, 

5, V\^e may fee how the Lord's people fhould underva- 
Ijie and defpife all earthly poffeflions j and how light they 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slai/i/Jj Fear. 427 

are in their account: why? becaufe they have God him- 
felf to be thieirs. When Abraham returned from the 
ilaughter of the kings, having recovered both the perfons 
and goods of the Sodomites, vi^hich had been carried away 
by them, the king of Sodom fays to him. Give me the per^ 
fons^ and take the goods to thyfelf. What was Abraham's 
reply ? And Abraham /aid to the king of Sodom^ I have lift 
up my hand to the Lord^ the mofl high Gody poffeffor of heaven 
and eurth^ that I will not take^ from a thread even to a fhoe 
latchet ; and that I will not take any thing that is thine ^ lefl 
thou fJoouldfl fay ^ I have made Abraham rich. How gallant- 
ly and magnanimoufly did he rcfufe and defpife the reward 
of the king of Sodom ? He difdained to be made rich by 
the king of Sodom, who was made rich by the King of 
heaven: what cares he for fpoil and plunder who had 
God to be his reward. It is no hard thing for him that 
abounds with gold and filver, to defpife drofs ; for him 
that abounds in pearls, to trample upon peebles, and the 
ftones of the ftreet. 

6. Here fee good reafon why the believer fliould be co7i' 
tent with his own lot, and not envv the men of the wond. 
'Why ? becaufe he has God for his God ; and may he not 
be content in every ftate, as the apoftle? / have learned 
in every flat e therewith to be content, God brought Paul 
into as great a variety of conditions as many, and yet he 
was content; 2 Cor. iv. 8. We are troubled on every fide ; 
there was the ladnefs of his condition: yet not diftreffed ; 
there is his contentment in that cafe: we are perplexed ; 
there is fadnefs : but not in defpair ; there is his content- 
ment. 2 Cor. vi. 4. In afflidions^ in necefjtties^ in diflreffcs^ 
in ftripes^ in imprifonments^ in tumults^ &c.: a melancholy 
cafe; but behold his contentment, ver. 10. As having no- 
things yet poffeffing all things. Well may the Lord's peo- 
ple be content, whatever be their circumftances, for God 
has given them himfelf, and in him are unfearchable riches; 
As Seneca faid to his acquaintance, fo may wx fay to the 

Hhh 2 

428 Sovereign Antidotes againji Slavijh Fear. 

people of God, " Never complain, faid he, of thy hard 
^^ fortune as long as reafon is thy friend:*' fo never conif 
plain, believer, fo long as God is your friend, and that 
is for ever ; for he hath faid, / will never leave thee nor for- 
fake thee, There is a friend that fticketh clofer than a brother ; 
and fuch a friend is God. The linner that is contented 
with any thing fhort of God, is too eafiiy fatisfied : the 
linner that is not fatisfied with God, though he hath no- 
thing elfe, is too ill to pleafe ; for God is ail things. On 
the other hand, while they have God to be their God, 
xs^hatever rblefUngs or mercies the wicked are pofTelTed of, 
they want this mercy of mercies, without which all other 
mercies are not mercies. What can they fay of their en- 
joyments, but ye may fay much m.ore ? they may fay they 
have many things ; but ye can fay ye have the one thing 
needful : they may perhaps fay we have enough ; but ye can 
fay we have alL V7hen one of the emperors, in his chal- 
lenge to- the king of France, commanded his herald to 
procla'm hirn with all his titles of honour, viz, emperor 
cf Gerfnany, king of Caftile, Arragon, Naples, and Sici- 
ly, <drr. the other ordered his herald to ilyle him only king 
of France; intimating, that one France, was better than all 
his opponent's territories: in like manner, againft all the 
boafts of the men wliq have their portion in this world, 
about their honours, riches, houfes, lands, &c, the peo^ 
pie of God may gloryiu this one matchlefs property, that 
the Lord is their God. Do not, believer, over-value their 
imaginary glory, nor under-value your own real happi- 
r*efs : envy not their condition, nor murmur at your own; 
for yours is far above their reach, and their's far below 
your envy: Pfal. xxxvii. i. Fret not thyfelf bccaufe of evil 
doers J neither be thou envious again/} the workers of iniquity, 
7. Wq may fee what reafon the enemies of God's peo- 
ple have to fear^ and to fop their fury and rage againft his 
^aufe and intereft: why? becaufe God is their God, and 
\>'ith theme It is fruitlefs and yain to cyrfe theai whprn 

Sover£ign Antidotes againji Slavifl:) Fear. 429 

God will blefs, and to oppofe them whom God helps. 
Balaam could teach them this. Numb, xxiii. 8. How Jh all 

I curfe whom God hath not curfedf or ho%v JJmll J defy whom 
the Lord hath not defied? It is not only fruitlefs, but ruin- 
ous ; for they that fet themfelves againft his people, fet 
themfclves againft God, Ifa. xxxvii. 23, 24. Whom haft 
thou reproached and blafphe?nedf and againft whom haft thou 
e^taltedthy 'voice ^ and lifted up thine eyes on high? even againft 
the holy One of IfraeL Men do not know, nor coniider 
who is their party, and with whom they have to do, who 
breathe out nothing but threatenings and deftruSion againft 
the lervants and people of the Lord. Are you a match 
for God ? he is their fecond, and engages againft you ; 
and he can foon tread out thefe as a fmokingflax, and with 
the wind of his difpleafure fcatter the duft that flies in the 
face of his people. The aflbciations of men are but a pre- 
paration to their own ruin; Ifa. viii. 9, 10. Affociate your- 
f elves together^ ye people^ and ye fhall he broken in pieces ; 
and give ear ^ all ye of far countries ; gird yourf elves ^ and ye 
ftmll be broken in pieces ; gird your f elves ^ and ye fhall be bro- 
ken in pieces : take counfel together^ and it ftoall come to nought ; 
fpeak the word-, and it fJmll not ft and : for God is with us, 

2dlyy This doctrine may be improven in an ufe of re- 
proof to the following forts of perfons, 

I. To all fuch as fcek after fomething elfe than God as * 
their portion ; laying out the ftrength of their endeavours 
upon the creature, upon fomething befides the chief good : 
Ifa. Iv. 2. Wherefore de ye fpend your money for that which 
is not bread? and your labour for that which fatisfieth not? 
Suppofe you get all you want, ye get nothing if you get 
not God in Chrift: Prov. xxiii. 5. Wilt thou fet thine eyes 
upon that which is not? Our Lord is all, and the creatures 
nothing without him ; and yet how many mind the world, 
and neglecl him ! To fuch belongs that awful warning. 
Behold all ye that kindle a fire^ that compafs yourfelves about 
with fparks ; ipalk in the light of your ftre^ and in the f parks 

43^ Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Fear* 

that ye have kindled: this Jhall ye have of mine hand^ ye Jhall 
lie down in for row ^ Ifa. 1. ii. 

2. To all fuch as feek fomething more than God. Our 
Lord is a fufficient portion ; he who has him needs no 
more : he who has the fountain needs not the ciliern ; he 
who has the fun needs not the candle : and yet, alas ! 
there are not a few, who think they hav€ not full bleifed- 
nefs in a God in Chrift : God alone, without other things, 
cannot content them; Gen. 30. i. Give me children^ or 
eJfe I die. This evil under the fun hath reached even 
fome of them who have been within the covenant of grace. 
Gen. XV. 1,2. After thefe things the word of the Lord came 
unto Ahram in a vifion^ faying^ Fear not Abram ; I am thy 

fhield^ and thy exceeding great reward. And Ahram faid^ 
Lord God^ what wilt thou give me, feeing I go childlefs, and 
the flew ard of my houfe is this Eliezer of Da?nafcus f To fuch 
belongs that warning, Jer. xlv. 5. And feekefl thou great 
things for thyfelff feek them 720t : for behold I will bring evil 
upon all fiefh, faith the Lord ; hut thy life will I give unto thee 
for a prey, in all places whither thou goejl, 

3. It ferves to reprove all fuch as feek fomething lefs 
than God, which is to flight his kindnefs in giving him- 
felf. Sirs, there are many of the world whom life and 
falvation without God would content. A created heaven 
\\athout God would anfwer their defires after happinefs ; 
Matth. xix. 16. And, behold, one came and f aid to him. Good 
majler ; what good thing fJ:i all I do, that I may have eternal 
life^ Something of this alfo may overtake the people whofe 
God is the Lord, under their diltempered fits : Mark ix. 
5, 6. And Feter anfwer ed and f aid to Jefus, Mafler, it is 
good for us to be here ; and let us make three tabernacles, &c. 
For he wifl not what to fay, for they were fore afraid. Such 
ihould remember Peter*s words at another time, John vi. 
6 8 . T^hen Simon Feter anfwer ed and faid. Lord, to whom 

fhall we go f thou hafl the words of eternal life ; which im- 
ports, that a created heaven would not fignify, if God 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Fear. 431 

and Chrift' were not there : and alfo what David fays, Pfal. 
Ixxiii. 2 5. Whom have I in heaven but thecf and there is none 
upon the earth that I defire hefides thee, David had his crown 
and his throne to dehght in ; but it was God in Chrift he 
chiefly thirfted after. Without God, all his other com- 
forts were not only emptinefs, but bitternefs: there is none 
in all the earth ; yea, there is none in heaven ; none to feek 
to, to truft in, to court or covet acquaintance with. 

4. This do(flrine ferves to reprove all thefe who content 
themfelves with th^vc .carnal Jl ate and condition. Why? 
It is a Chriltlefs and Godlefs one : all who think them- 
felves naturally happy enough, in a ftate good enough, 
and are not feeking after fupernatural happinefs, by effec- 
tual calling, converiion, juftification, and a new-covenant 
intereft in God as their God. Such are not as yet fenfible 
of their natural mifery, therefore they negleci: their fuper- 
natural remedy. They fee not themfelves loft and undone 
in the firft Adam, by the breach of the covenant of works; 
and how ftiould they feek relief in the laft Adam, by tak- 
ing hold of the covenant of grace : fuch defpife God and 
Chrift, and the myftery of falvation through him ; John 
V. 40. And ye will not come te me that ye may have life. Such 
think they are well enough without him. " God is a 
' " merciful God, fay they ; we have lived and ferved him 
ever fince we were born ; we have good hearts to God, 
and hope to come to heaven as foon as the beft." O 
dreadful delufion! How can you be content, and yet 
WTetchedly poor, blind, miferable, and naked ; having 
not a fmall morfel of food for your ftarving fouls, nor a 
garment to cover them ? How can you be concent, when 
you are lying under the curfe of a broken covenant, pro- 
nouncing eternal death to be your doom ? Can any be un- 
der a ftronger delufion, and more fadly infatuate 1 when 
you have God making over himfelf to you as your God, 
and yet you are content in your natural ftate! But know. 
He that made you^ ivill not have mercy on you ; and he that 
formed you^ willjhew no favour:, to any in this ftate.. 

432 Sovereign Antidotes again/1 Slavijh Fear, 

5 * This reproves fuch of the people of God, as conclude 
God is not their God, and prefent with them, becaufe of 
the fearful things with which they are tryfted. Many of 
them when prefled either with perfonal, or public trials, 
cry out as Gideon, when faluted by the angel, thus ; The 
Lord is with thee^ thou mighty man of valour. Oh, my Lord! 
if the Lord he with us, why then has all this befallen us f 
Why am I fo weak, fays one, both in doing good and 
oppoiing evil, if the Lord be with his people to alliil 
them ? Why am I fo much mifled, and carried out of the 
way, fays another ? why am I fo much in the dark con- 
cerning what is fin and duty, if the Lord be with his 
people, to lead and inftruct them ? Why am I fo unfuc- 
cefsful in all I take in hand and go about, faith a tliird, 
if the Lord be with his people to make them profper- 
ous ? Why are our hearts fo hard, fo dead, if God be 
with his people to foften and quicken them ?" Why, 
Sirs, to this I would fay, 

(i.) Thefe queries favour more oi flefh th3.nfpirit, more 
of unbelief than faith ; were ye more employed in believ- 
ing, ye fhould be lefs in queftioning and complaining. 
Thefe who have faith do not always acl or fpeak accord- 
ing to it : for the flefh will fpeak fometimes without the 
fpirit, even in thofe who have the Spirit of God. 

(2.) Sometimes it is the Lord's will it fhould be thus, 
even while he is with thee. You fay, if the Lord be with 
us, why hath all this befallen us ? and what if the Lord 
anfwer, I am with thee, and yet it is my pleafure to leave 
thee in weaknefs, darknefs, and wants. Is not the will 
of God reafon enough for you, or any man ? and ought 
it not to be the mofl fatisfying reafon? for, tho' in men, 
will and reafon are often oppofed, yet never in God. His 
will is the higheft reafon, the perfection of reafon, tho* 
we perceive it not: and it w^ere the mofl unreafonable 
thing in the world, as well as impoffible, that things fhould 
go otherwife than God would have them. But, though 

Sovereign Antidotes ngcwij} SlaviJJj Fear. 433 

the prerogative of God be enough to ftop every mouth, 
and to make all flcfh filent before him, yet I anfwer, 

(3.) That the reafon, why God, who is always with 
Ihs people, does yet leave them lying under great trouble, 
both outward and inward, is fbmetimes to correal and 
(haflen them for their neglefe, and undervaluings of his 
former prefence with, and appearances for them : For tins 
caiife he is as a man aftonied^ as a in'ighty man that cannot 
fave, though he be in the midfl of them^ as a prophet ex- 
preiTes it. We often depart from the living God, thro' 
the evil heart of unbelief that is in us ; and it is no wonder 
then, if God be as one departed from us: we often leave 
God by our uneven walking, and hnning againft him ; no 
wonder therefore if God be now and then as one that hath 
left us. You are ready to fay. If God be with us, why 
is it thus? w^hy hath this and the other crofs befallen us? 
But may not the Lord fay. Seeing I have promifed to be 
with you, and have fo often flood by you, v\^hy is it thus 
\^\t\\ you? why have ye thus requited my prefence, and 
the exertions of my povv^er for you i^ are your paHions, 
your pride, your earthlinefs, your envy and carnality, due 
returns for my being fo long with you, and my Handing 
by you fo often? 

(zj.) God has promifed to be with you in trouble^ and 
therefore ye have no reafon to make your trouble an oc- 
cafion of quellloning his prefence with you:, much lefs. an 
argument tnat he hath withdrawn from you: yea, he of- 
ten fufFers evils to bcfal vou, that he mav have a better 
opportunity to fhew the eilicacy of his prefence ; for the 
Lord's being Vv'ith his people, is as gloiioully feen in up- 
holding them under trials and temptations, as in prevent- 
in 2: or deliverino: from them. How s^lorious is the work 
of God on the heart, in making us live by faith, w^heri 
fenfe hath nothing to live upon? in making us live upon 
the promifes and word of God, even when his work and 
providence threaten nothing but death? 


434 Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Fear. 

(5 .) Though the Lord hath promifed to be fo with his 
people, that evil fliall not hurt nor prevail over them ; yet- 
he never prcmifcd to be 7^ Vv-ith them, that trouble fliall 

not vex or aiTault them; no : In the world ye Jh all have 

(6.) Ye have no reafon to conclude, becaufe it is thus 
with you, that God is away ; for he is always with you, 
though he communicate of himfelf only as he pleafes, and 
as is mod for vour <2:ocd. 

3^/y, Tliis fubject may be improven, in the next place, 
for examination. Let us from this doctrine learn, how 
much it concerns us to enquire, whether or not the Lord 
be our God ; for, if ye want God, nothing can make you 
happy ; and if ye have him, nothing can make you mifer- 
able: and this may be known, i. By his federal impref- 
fions upon you. 2. By your covenant-relation to him. 
3. By your fuitable deportment towards him as your God. 

[i.] By his federal imfrejfions upon you. When the 
Lord becomes one's covenant God, he imprints and works 
upon that perfon certain marks and characters of his co- 
venant ; he beautifuliy delienates, and deeply engraves 
upon their fouls, the blefilngs and effects of his fpecial fa- 
vour promifed in the covenant, whereby he makes a great 
alteration upon them ; io that they, upon whom thefe fe- 
deral impreffions are enftamped, cannot but fometime or 
other difcover them : fuch as, 

I . ^If ye Irave God to be your God, he hath fat his Spi- 
rit uuithin you ; Ezek. xxxvi. 27. / will put my Spirit with- 
in you. Now, hath God put his Spirit within you ? If not, 
ye are none of his; for. If any man have not the Spirit of 
Cbrif^ he is none of his, O but, fay you, how fhall we 
know if we have the Spirit of God ? I anfwer, 

(i.) The Spirit of God is a convincing Spirit; John xvi. 
9 . The Spirit^ when he is come^ will convince the world offtn. 
Now, I would a(k you, and would have every one of you 
afk his own confcience, was vou ever convinced of fin ? 

Sovereign Antidotes aga'mji Slavijh Fear, 43^; 

Some of you will lay, Yes ; you know that you are fin- 
ners w^ell enough : but I afk you again, Is not this know- 
ledge and conviction of yours made up of thcfc tw^o in- 
gredients, a general notion that you arc finncrs, as all men 
alfo are ; and particular troublefonie reflections on your- 
felves, when on any eruption of fin, confcicncc accufes, 
rebukes, and condemns? You will fay, Yes: what would 
you require more? Sirs, this is not the conviction I am 
enquiring after, which is a work of the Spirit of God, by 
the word of God : whereas, what you fpeak of, is mere- 
ly the working of a natural confcience, which you can no 
more be without, than ye can ceafe to be men. I afk you, 
therefore, were ye ever made fcnfible of your wcf al con- 
dition by nature, v/hat it is to be alienated from the life 
of God, and obnoxious to his wrath ? Have you been con- 
vinced of the univerfal enmity that is in your hearts to 
the mind of God, and wliat it is to be enmity a2:ain^l him ? 
Hath the unfpeakable multitude of fms in your lives been 
fet before you? I fear, if you anfwer truly, many of you 
will be obliged to own, that ye have heard of thcfe things 
many a time ; but that ye have had the experience of them, 
ye cannot fay. Well, it is a fad iign ye are ferifual^ yiot 
having the Spirit : you are ilrangers to God, for ye are 
ftrangers to fin : They that be wijok need iiGt the Fhyfician, 
But if ye can fay, that the law of God laid hold on you 
and flew you, made you apprehend yourfelf a woful fin- 
ner ; yea, overwhelmed you with the guilt of fin, fo that 
every moment ye expected tribulation and wrath from the 
hand of God ; that is a good fign, efpecially, if ye know 
by experience, that 

(2.) The Spirit of God is a Spirit of Illumination and r^- 
velation in the knowledge of Chrift, Eph. i. 17. Perhaps 
ye can fay, that the time w^as, when the law of God took 
hold of you and ilev/ you, fo that you was a dead man in 
your own view^ ; but I aik you furth.^r. What way was 
you relieved ? Did your trouble wear oft and depart of its 

I i i 2 

43^ Sovsreis;n Antidotes againjl Slavijlo Fear. ^ 

own accord ? Then we declare you yet in the gall of bit» 
ternefs : ye have been in pain^ hut have, brought forth no- 
thinQ but wifid, O, no! fay voii, had I not met with an 
efTeclual remedy, I had funk and eternally periihed. 
Wells what was that ? was it Chrift Jefus revealed in the 
gofpel ? O yes ; I got fuch a difcovery of his glory as one 
every way fit and fuiLable for me, as made me eileem him, 
as my prefent, greateft, and only good : Tea^ I count all 
but lofs and danw^ for the excellency of the knowledge of hinu 
This was vvhat relieved me ; and, inftead of wrath v/hicli 
I feared, and that jnftly, becaufe I had deferved it, he faid 
unto. me. Fury is not in me. 

(?^.) The Spirit of God is -3, fanciifying Spirit; he is the 
immediate autlior and worker of all grace in the foul, and 
ian^tifies it throughout; Titus iii. 5. Through the renewing 
of the Holy Ghofl. Men. before they receive the Holy 
Gl oil, have depraved hearts; their underiiandings, wills, 
and afteciions, are all wrong fet, until the Spirit of God 
renew, and rectify them by the grace of fancfification : but 
^vhenever the Spirit enters their foul, he parities themi, and 
iPiakes a vein of hohnefs run through their whole mxan, 
their thouoht?., words, and actions; their dealinsfs with 
God "and man. Now, 1 aik, Is it fo with you? In a god? 
ly perfon's heart, though forae fm be left, yet no fm is 
loved; in his hh^e, though fin may remain, yet no fm has 
dominion : his heart is in fome rneafure fuitable to God's 
nature, and his life anfwerable to God's lavv\ Now, Is it 
fo with vou? Theri ve may be fure ve have received the 
Soirit of God : but if ve be the lervants of fin, whether of 
the profane, or formal kind, ye have not the Spirit of Chrift, 
and fo are none of his. O do not deceive your own fouls! 
To live in fm. and yet have the Spirit of God, is fimply 

(4.) 1 he Spirit of God is 1 praying Spirit, Zech. xii. 10, 
/ will pour out the Spirit of grace and of fupplications^ 
Wherever the Spirit is^ there wilj be praying in the Spirit j 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl SlaviJIj Fear. 437 

for, if he live in you, he will certainly breathe in you. 
Our Lord never had, nor will have a dumb child ; and 
hence Paul was no fooner converted than he breathed after 
God in prayer, Acls ix. 11. Behold be prayeth. 

(5.) The Spirit of God is an elevating Spirit. It raifes 
one above the world, Eph. ii. 6. And hath ra'ifed us up tO' 
get her, I alk you, Are ye like the tribes that defired to 
have their portion on this fide Canaan, who ?nind earthly 
things f Then ye 2Xt fenfiial^ not having the Spirit : or, has 
the Spirit of God made you feek after things that are above 
where Chrift is ? Though your body be on earth, is your 
heart in heaven? Though ye live here, do ye trade there? 
Then you have the Spirit of God, and fo God himfelf to 
be your God ; for where God gives his Spirit for an earneft, 
he gives himfelf for a portion. 

2 . Another covenant impreilion is his writing his laws 
upon their hearts^ Heb. viii. 10. This is the covenant that I 
will make with the houfe of Ifrael after thofe days^ faith the 
Lord ; I will put my laws into their ?7iind, and write them in 
their hearts. God's law, as we formerly obferved, is fo 
crazed out of man's heart by the fall, and the prints there- 
of fo obhterated and defaced ; yea, there is fo much enmity 
againft it therein, that it is "a hard work to bring it to an 
agreement therewith : God muft write it there. Might I 
be allowed to carry on the metaphor, I would fay, mini- 
fters of the gofpel are the pens, the Spirit of God is the 
ink, and God in Chrift is the w^'iter. O but, fay you, 
how iliall 1 know if God's law be written on mv foul? 

(i.) By your foul's approbation of the whole law of God; 
Pfal. cxix. 128./ efleem all thy precepts concerning all thi7i^s 
to be right. Wicked men may alfent to the truth of the 
law, but cannot confent to the goodnefs of it ; as the de- 
vils affent to the being of God, yet confent not to take 
him for their portion : or if they do approve, it is only of 
fome commands of the law. A temperate man applauds 
highly the law that forbids drunkennefs ^ the churl ap- 

438 Sovereign Antidotes againji Slavijh Fear. 

plauds highly the law that forbids prodigality: but the 
gracious foul approves of the whole law of God, the whole 
revelation of his will concerning holinefs and obedience. 
All God's frecepts were the object of the Pfalmift's efteem ; 
and this he does even when under the greateft temptations 
to diilike it : thus Paul fpeaketh good words of the law, even 
when it baffled all his confidence and hope, and left him 
wounded with the fenfe of fin; Rom. vii. 10, — 12. And 
the command?nent which was orda'med unto life^ I found to he 
unto death ; hut the law is holy^ and the commandment holy^ 
jufl. and good : whatever come of me, though I die and 
periih, the law is holy, in teaching my duty to God ; juft, 
in teaching my duty to my neighbour ; and good, with 
refpecl to myfelf : a law becoming God to give, and us to 
receive. Now, I alk you. Do ye approve of the law, and 
do ye look upon the renovation of your nature into a con- 
formity therewith, as a moft invaluable bleffing? There- 

(2.) Ye may know it by your having de fires and long- 
ings after conformity to the law : it puts that prayer of the 
Pfalmifi: into the fouPs mouth, Pfal. cxix. 5. that my 
luays were directed to keep my ftatutes I The appetite follow- 
eth nature; Gal. v. 17. The flefJ:> lufieth againfl the Spint^ 
and tJje Spirit againfl the flefh, Defires being the vigorous 
bent of the foul, difcover the temper of it : the carnal na- 
ture puts forth itfelf in luftings, and fo doth the new na- 
ture: the people of God come fhort of many things, but 
they defire to come flicrt of nothing; Ifa. xxvi. 8. lihe 
defire of our foul is to thy name^ and to the reniemhrance of thee ^ 
They could fpeak little of what they had done for God, 
but they could fay they defired him : they are better at 
willing than performing; Rom. vii. 18. For I knozo^ that 
in me, (that isy in my fleJJpJ dwelleth iw good thing : for to 
icill is prefent with me^ hut how to perform that which is good 
I find not. As he that loveth would not offend the party 
beloved \ fo it is their defire to pleafe God m all things : 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavi/h Fear, , 439 

and it is not a lazy, but an aclive defire ; PfaJ. xxvii. 4, 
One thing have 1 defircd of the Lord ^ that will Ifcek after^ &c.: 
and fuch wiflies, as are joined with ferious groans, and 
forrow for their defects; Horn. vii. 24. wretched man 
that I am ! who flmll deliver me from the body of this death f 

(3.) Ye may know it by your delighti?ig in the law; 
Pfal. cxix. 35. Make ?ne to go in the path of thy coinmand- 
ments^ for therein do I delight* Our dehght in the law of 
God evidences a new nature ; for what we do naturally, 
we do with complacency and delight : and that which is 
forced, and done againft the bent of our hearts, can never 
be delightful ; but when there is a principle of grace, the 
law of God will be our delight; Pfal. i. 2. His delight is 
in the law of the Lord: quite contrary to the hypocrite, 
who may do duty from the impulfe of confcience, from 
legal bondage, and whofe fervices are therefore a fin-ofFer- 
ing, but can never be a thank-offering, not being done 
from choice, but by conftraint : Job xxvii. \o. Will he de- 
light himfelf in the Almighty? will he always call upon God? 
When in diftrefs, and his confcience pinches him fore, he 
will perhaps be calling upon God ; but has he any delight 
in God? or in obedience to his law? O, no: but the 
believer delights therein ; yea, and coniiders a particular 
fatisfadion, in fuch acls of obedience, as carry in them 
any degree of conformity to the law of God. 

(4.) Ye may know it, by your endeavouring at an uni- 
verfal anfwerahlenefs of heart and life, to the law of God, 
Before this writing there was an univerfal contrariety ; 
but fince, there is an univerfal correfpondence betwixt 
God's law and their hearts. Now, there is a fpiritual law 
within, called the law of the mind^ anfwerlng in every 
point to the law without, as the^impreilion on the wax 
anfwers to the feal ; as the image in the glafs, anfwers to 
the face. There is fuch a general conformity of the re- 
generate mind to the laws of God, that they are fweetly 
difpofed to have a refpeci to them all ; Pfal. cxlx. 6. Then 

44^ Sovereign Antidotes againft SlavifJj Feaf* 

Jhall I not he ajhamed^ when I have refpefl to all thy coni'^ 
mandments. There are fome commands little comparative- 
ly, and fome great : commands that require public, and 
commands that require private duties ; fome that Concern 
the inward, as well as the outward duties ; and fome that 
concern God, as well as others that concern man. The 
perfon that has the law of God infcribed on his heart, has 
a refpecl to all, for there is a form of grace introduced in- 
to the foul, that fuits any part of the law. 1 aik you 
therefore, Is it your endeavour to walk in an univerfal 
conformity to God's law ? Then you may conclude it is 
written in your heart ; and therefore that God is your God: 
this feems to have been its effect upon David, Pfal. cxix. 1 1 . 
l^hy word have I hid in mine hearty that I Jin not againjl thee ; 
but if not, ye can jiiftly lay no claim to either of thefe : 
for he that feeketh not to pleafe God in all things, feeketh 
not to pleafe him in any thing. 

[2.] We may know if the Lord be our God, by our 
covenant -relation to him : that is to fay, we may know that 
we have an intereft in God by his having an intereil in us; 
Song ii. 16. My beloved is vmie^ and I am his. Whenever 
God fays effeclually to a foul, / am thy God; the foul an- 
fvvers, 'Thine am /, David, Are ye then the Lord's peo- 
ple ? O how fhall I know this ! I anfwer, by the following 

I. The Lord's people are a humble people. Humility 
is the livery which all the people of God w^ear ; i Pet. v. 5 . 
Be clothed with humility. They have got a twofold difco- 
very, and both tend to humble them : a difcoveiy of God, 
and that humbles them; thus Elijah wTapped his face ia 
a mantle when God's glory paifed by ; and when Job got 
a fight of the holinefs, powder, fovereignty, and goodnefs 
of God, he abhorred himfelf^ Job xlii. 6. And befides this 
they have got a difcovery of themfelves as polluted by iin, 
and this likewife humbles them ; Woe is me ^ for I am undone^ 
becaufe I am a man of unclean U^s^ Ifa, vi» 5 • 


Sovereign Antidotes againfl Slavljh Fear. 441 

2. God's new-covenant people are a holy people; i Pet» 
ii. 9. Te are an holy nation^ a peculiar people unto God: 
they are fclected from among all others ; they are feparat- 
ed from the corrupt human mafs: holinefs implies a repa- 
ration from' common and profane, to facred ufes, 2 Cor. 
vi. 16, 17. They are the temple cf God : I will dwell in them, 
and walk in them^ faith the Lord ; and I will he their God, 
and they JIj all be my people, Now, are ye feparated from 
the common impure mafs of mankind, or are ye mingled 
with them ? Have ye renounced ungodliaefs and worldly 
lulls? or do ye ftill live in them? 

3. They are tl f elf -denied people; Matth. xvi. 24. If any 
man will come after me^ let him deny himfelf. The grace of 
God, that is, God's doctrine of grace, teaches them that 
are his people, to deny themfelves; Pfal. xlv. 10, 1 1, 
Hearken^ daughter ^ and confder^ and incline thine ear -, for- 
get alfo thine own people^ and thy father'' s houfe : and this 
alfo they put in praclice. They are content not only to 
deny thei^ felf-finfulnefs, but their felf-righteoufnefs, felf- 
excellency and perfection, that may ftand in competition 
with our Lord Jefus ; Phil. iii. 3. We are the circumcifion 
who worfJnp God in the Spirit^ and rejoice in Chrifl Jefus, 
and have ?io confidence in the fiefh. They fee fo much tran- 
fcendant worth and excellency in him, that they can freely 
fell all, part with all, that they maybe found in him ; Phil. 
iii. 8. Tea^ doubt lefs^ I do count all things but lofs^ for the ex* 
cellency of the knowledge of Chrif Jefus my Lord^ 8zc. 

4. His people arc a 'it^/VZ/V^g- people ; Pfxl. ex. 2, 3. Rule 
thou in the ?nidj} of thine ene7nies : Thy people f)j all he willin(r 
in the day of thy power. Once indeed they were enemies to 
God, and all his ways, and ferved him through force and 
conftraint ; but now they willingly fubjecl, and devote 
themfelves to him : the love of Chrift conftr?ans them to 
ferve'him and fide with him. Murmurina: and o:rumblinp: 
is far from them ; / will run the ways of thy commandments, 
I will rejoice in God my Saviour, 


442 Sovereign Atitidotes againjl Slavijh Fear* 

5. God's people are a heavenly people; John xvii. 16. 
T^hey are not of the zvorld^ even as I am not of the world. They 
have little of the world's refpect, and the world has as lit- 
pf theh'S ; Gal. vi. 14. T7;<? world is crucified to me^ and I un- 
to the world, A dead man hanging on a crofs is a mifer- 
able and ignominious fpeclacle ; I defpife the world, and 
the w^orld defpifeth me, as a crucified man is made an ob- 
ject of fcorn and contempt : indeed, they ufe the world 
as their fervant, but do not follow it as their mailer j Phil, 
iii. 20. Our converfatton is in heaven, 

[3.3 Ye may know if the Lord be your God, by your 
deport nmit to him as your God in covenant ; Micah iv. 5. 
All people will walk every one in the name of his God^ and we 
will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever. 
You may fay, by what carriage of ours towards God may 
we know that he is ours ? To this ! fhall anfwer, only in 
three particulars. 

1. By your ejleem of him as your God. None can have 
the Lord to be their God v/ho do not eftcem him as their 
God; that is to fay, above all other things; Pfal. Ixxiii. 
25. Whom have I in heaven but thee? Thofe that have God 
for their God, pfize him as the only riches, the only por- 
lion, the only treafure, the only happinefs and heaven 
of their fouls ; and they value their intei eft in him, and 
the intimations of his love and favour in Chrift, beyond 
their intereft in any created comforts ; and, upon delibe- 
rate choice, could freely part vv^ith whatever is dear to 
them in the world, rather than with him alone. Well, 
do ye thus enthrone him in your efleem ? Then he is your 

2 . Ye may know it by your love to him as your God ; 
and, indeed, if ye efteem him ye cannot but love him as 
fuch. O but how know we if we love him ? If fo, 

(i.) Your de fires w^ill be after him; Ifa. xxvi. 9. With 
my foul have I defired thee in the night, Perfons in love 
defire frequent melTages and converfations with one ano* 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slav'i/Jj Fear.. 443 

ther: fo lie who loves God, dclires to be often In his com- 
pany, and breathes often after communion with him ; 
PfaL xlii. 2. My foul thirfletb for God^ for the living God: 
when fhall I come and appear before Godf Pfal. Ixiii. 8. My 
fouifollozvetb hard after thee, 

(2.) If you love him, you will hate whatever tends to 
feparate betwixt him and your fouls, which is iin ; Ifa. 
lix. 2. Tour iniquities have feparated between you and your 
God* Sin is like a rampart-wall betwixt heaven and earth ; 
the great incendiary which parts chief friends: therefore 
it is the objecl of a faint's hatred and averfion ; Pfal. cxix. 
128. / hate every falfe way. One cannot love health, 
without, at the fame time, hating poifon : fo it is fimply 
impoHible that ye can love God, and not hate fm, which 
would deilroy your communion with him. 

(3.) If ye love him, his abfence will be a grief of heart 
to you. How does the Spoufe figh when he is abfent ? 
My beloved had withdrawn himfelf and was gone ! And the 
Church, Ifa. xlix. 14. But Zion faid^ The Lord hath for- 
faken me^ and my God hath forgotten me : where you fee the 
church all clad in black, bewailing her widowhood, as 
one bereaved of her deareft hufband ; and every word of 
her fpeech is bedewed with tears, and bears a drop from 
her bleeding foul ; The Lord^ faith flic, hath forfaken me : 
he whofe power and fidelity hath been to me, as the pil- 
lars of the earth ; he hath forfaken me, he hath cafl; me 
off: and my God^ he who was mine in covenant, mine in 
communion ; he who was the joy of my life, and the life 
of my joy, he hath forgotten me : he hath cait me, not on- 
ly out of his arm.s, but out of his heart ; I am quite caft 
out of his love, not only forfaken but forgotten. Carnal 
men will only cry out. My health is gone, my riches are 
gone ; but a lover of God cries out. My God is gone. I 
cannot enjoy him whom I love. 

3 . Ye may know if the Lord be your God, by your trtifling 
in him as your God j Pfal. cxli. 8. Mine eyes are u7ito thee^ 

Kkk 2 

444 Sovereign Antidotes againft Slavijh Fear. 

O God the Lord: in thee is my truft. There is nothing we 
can fafely, and fuccefsfully trufl in, but God: none can 
fo fupply our wants, fupprefs our fears, remove our dan- 
gers, facilitate our difficulties, and fupport us in all our 
deepeft and moil defperate plunges: therefore truft belongs 
peculiarly to him; Pfal, Ixii. 8. Trufl in him at all times, 
^nd the fincerity and genuine nature of your truft, may 
be known by its effects: does it tend to the purifying of 
your lieart, , and to fpiritualize your affections ? Then it 
is of the right kind, and God is your God. ^ 
. ^thly^ This doctrine may be improven alfo in an ufe of 
confolaiion to believers in general. From this fubjecl we 
may fee wonderful matter of comfort to all the people of 
God. He is a golden mine, a living fpring, a fpacious fea 
of confolation to all his covenant people. He is your God, 
and prefent with you ; and what a cordial is this ? Why art 
thou caft down, O believer? Why walk ye difconfolately ? 
For what can be the malady for which this is not a complete 
remedy ? if the Lord were not your God, nothing could 
comfort you ; but being your God, what fiiould difcou- 
rao^e you ? 

I . Is it a body cf fin and death that difcourages and makes 
you afraid ? Yes, yes, fay you ; wretched 7nan that I arnl 
ivho Jhall deliver me from the body of this death? There were 
never any of the Lord's people fo hard-hearted, hypocri- 
tical, unbelieving, and impenitent ; or, indeed, any way 
10 v/icked as I am ; and this makes me conclude all my 
religion hypocrifyc Well, but fear not, The Lord thy God 
will drive out thefe nations by little and little, Pharaoh and 
his hofts were ftrong and terrible to fight with, and troub- 
led Ifrael ; but IfraePs Gcd was ftronger to drown them 
all in the depths of the fea. The remains of fm are ftrong, 
and difmaying to the people of God, to perplex and grieve 
them ; but their God is ftronger to fubdue all their iniqul- 
ties^ and cafl all their ftns into the depths of the fea ^ O what 
comfort is this ! But know, fqrth^r, that he is your God 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Fear. 445 

notwithftanding all the remains of corruption in you; they 
cannot deftroy nor diftnrb your covenant-relation to God: 
vour fins fhall not feparate you from your God in cove- 
nant ; but your God will feparate you from all your fms. 

2. Is it fear of apojlacy from God that is your trouble? 
Here is comfort againft that ; Fear not, for I am with thee. 
The Lord's peoples graces infufed are but weak, their 
corruptions remaining are ftrong, their temptations fierce 
and violent, their difficulties which they wreftle with in 
the way to heaven are not few ; the gate to life is exceed- 
ing ftrait, many mifs it, and few enter; hereupon they 
are apt to faint, and be difcouraged, apprehending that 
they fliall not hold out, but fall away, and not perfevere 
faithful to the death : but, ye of little faith^ and much 
fear, fear not, queftion not your perfeverance ; for if the 
Lord your God be prefent with thee, he will not fail thee, 
nor forfake thee ; for with him there is no variablenefs. 
What have you to fear? He may fuffer you to fall fre- 
quently, and to fall foully, to fall from fome fenfe of com^ 
fort, from fome degrees of grace for your further caution, 
confirmation, and fpiritual advantage; but totally or fi- 
nally he will not fuffer thee to fall away or perifh, becaufe 
he is your God prefent with you ; if otherwife, his cove- 
nant (liould fail for evermore. Your God, who is prefent 
with you, undertakes for you, as well as for himfelf, and 
your reciprocal conftancy ; Jer. xxxii. 40. / will make an 
everlajling covenant with theniy that I will not turn away from 
them: but I will put my fear in their hearts ; that they fij all 
not depart from me, 

3. Here is comfort againft all outward or inward wants 

(i.) Againft outward wants : want ye food or raiment, 
credit or riches, health or ftrength? Want ye father or 
mother, children, or any other near and dear relation? 
Yea, perhaps, ye want thefe things while the wicked of 
the world overflow with them. Well, but fear not, ye 

44^ Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavi/h Fear. 

have an enjoyment beyond all thefe wants: the Lord is 
thy God, and with yon, and he is your all. Solomon 
tells us, A feafl is 7?iade for laughter^ and wine maketh merry; 
hut money anfwerefh all things. Wine, meat, and drink, 
though mofl neceffary, yet have but a peculiar and limit- 
ed ufefulnefs ; but money, being an inftrument and mean 
of commerce, hath a general ufe, and anfwereth for all 
things. Money feeds, clothes, liberates, befriends, makes 
war and peace : but the people of God may much more 
juftly fay, that their God anfwers all things. Money an- 
fwers all things refpedively, finitely, and with many li- 
mitations ; but their God anfwers all things abfolutely, 
unlimitedly, infinitely, and without all exception ; yea, 
believer, your God is more to you than all ye want : why 
then fhould ye be difcouraged by reafon of your wants? 
When Kannah was greatly diflrefTed, through her want 
of children, Elkanah her hufoand comforts her thus. Why 
iveepejl thou f and why eat eft thou not f and why is thy heart 
grieved f a?n not I better to thee than ten fons f How much 
more may every one of the Lord's people comfort him- 
felf amidil his wants, faying, Is not my God better to me 
than all thefe things? Why art thou caft down^ my foul f 
Yea, believer, fuppofe you pofTeiTed all earthly things which 
thou wantefl, or which the whole world can aflbrd you, 
vour God is better than them all ; for all the comfort and 
benefit they can aiibrd is from him : without him it is not 
in food to nourifh you, in phyfic to heal you, in clothes to 
warm, in beds to refrefh, in hoafes and gardens to de- 
light, in friends to comfort, in llrong holds, armies, or 
navies to defend ; and with him any thing Ihall ferve the 
turn. Gideon and Ifrael fhall be defended with lamps and 
earthen pitchers : Daniel and his companions fhall be befl 
favoured with the coarfefl fare : the blind man fliall re- 
cover fight by clay and fpittle put upon his eyes. 

(2.) Here is comfort againfl inward vf2XsX.%. As ICrael of 
old in the wilderuefs, fo the Ifrael of God in the wilder- 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Fear. 447 

nefs of this world, are in an imperfect and defective flatc ; 
not only have they outward but inward wants to exercife 
and afflicl them : they want degrees of grace, affurance of 
God's love, the light of his countenance, comforts of the 
Holy Ghoft, to ftrengthen them againil corruption and 
temptation ; and becaufe of thefe they are much difcou- 
raged, and drive heavily on in the ways of God : but fear 
not, he is your God, and fo able to fupply you ; he is the 
God of all grace, and able to beftow all grace upon you ; 
yea, he will fupply your wants : For God the Lord is a fun 
and Jhield^ he will give grace and glory » 

4. Here is comfort againft the temptations of the enemy. 
The people of God are the greateft enemies to Satan in the 
world ; and therefore he afTaults them moft fiercely, with 
all his ftratagems and force : but againft all poiTible temp- 
tations here is matter of encouragement. Believer, the 
Lord your God is with you, and he is ftronger than all 
the devils in hell : your beft friend is above your worft 
foe; I John iv. 4. T^ are of God, little children, and have 
overcome them : becaufe greater is he that is in yoii, than he 
that is in the world* Your beft friend is wifer than your 
moft cunning foe ; The Lord knows how to deliver the godly 
out of temptation: he has more wifdom to bring you out 
of temptations than Satan has fubtilty to bring you into 
them. Your God is more tender of you than your ene- 
my is cruel againft you j Tour adverfary the devil goeth a- 
bout like a roaring lion, feekin^ whom he may devour : but his 
rage is finite and limited, whereas your Lord's tendernefs 
is infinite and unlimited. Your God loves you more than 
your enemy can hate you : ye may therefore triumph over 
all diabolical cruelty. Your God will not permit Satan to 
tempt you above your ability ; for, He is faithful,, who will 
not fuffer you to be ^empted above what ye are able. He that 
bounds the unrully waves of the fea, faying. Thus far 
flmll ye go, and no further, will bound the more uurully 
rage of Satan, that he cannot pafs his limits. Your God 

448 Sovereign Antidotes againjl Stavijh Featl 

will open a door of efcape for you, and bruife Satan under 
your feet. 

5 . Here is comfort againft defertions. Divine defertion, 
when God hides his countenance, withholds the fenfe and 
fweet experience of his favour and loving^kindnefs, is a 
fad cafe : but it is ftill more fad, when, befides withhold- 
ing his confolation, he heaps terrors upon them ; for. Who 
may Jl and before him when once he is angry f This was He- 
man's cafe, Job's, and others. Well, but fear iiot, fee- 
ing God is your God ; for he will continue your God un- 
der the faddeft deiertion, as he continued to be your R.e-' 
deemer's in the depth of his defertion: My God ^ my God^ 
why haft thou forfaken mef God being your God will keep 
you from iinkmg, fainting, and defpairing under defer* 
tion : thus Afaph when under defertion was fo far fup- 
ported as to pray to God, and prevailed to raife up his 
fpirit, I faid this is mine infirmity ; hut I will remember the 
ye^ars of the right'hand of the Mojl High, Your God will 
feafonably recover you out of your defertion ; Song iii. 4. 
It was but a little that I faffed from them^ hut I found him 
whom my foul loveth. The Lord that fadly deferts thee^ 
will feafonably return to thee j / will fee you again is his 

6. Some may be ready to fay, None of all thefe things 
move me ; but I am afraid what will become of the ark 
ef God: ftorms feem to be gathering, the winds roar, and 
the waves fwell ; and what fliall become of the ark, the 
church of God ? thou afflided^ toffed with ttnipejls^ and not 
comforted; it is an evidence of the gracioufnefs of thy hearty 
to be thus concerned about Zion ; but it is your fin to fear 
her ruin, and to be fo concerned as to fink under difcou- 
ragement becaufe of her difaf]:ers ; for her God is in the 
midfl of her^ and therefore fhe fhall not he moved. The 
church of God is indeed low at this day; but though fhe 
be lying among the pots ^ in a dirty cafe and condition, there 
is a time of refurreftion for her when God will reftore her 


Sovereign Antidotes agalnjl Slavl/h Fear. 445 

to her true glory, and make her as the ivings of a dove, 
which are covered with filver^ and her feathers ivith yello'v} 

Laflly^ We may improve this fubjecr in an ufe of eX" 
hortation ; firfl to the people of God, aad then to fuch as 
are ftranc^ers to him. 

[i.] From the doclrine we have been infixing upon, 
we fhall tender an exhortation to the people of God ; and 
this we fhall do in the following particulars • 

I. Live upon your privileges. Your fouls have faid un- 
to the Lord, Thou art my Lord^ and my God, Well, live 
upon it, feed on it, reft on it, meditate on it, in profpe- 
rity and adverfity, in ftrength and weaknefs, in your tri- 
umphs and in your trials, in your fulnefs and in your 
wants, in your joys and in your griefs, in your youth and 
in your old-age, in your life and at your death. There 
is enough in it to repofe your fouls on with fuUeft fatis- 
faclion, and to feed on with the fweeteft delight. O what 
diftrefles will not this promifed privilege allay, that the 
God of mercies is your God, and prefent with you ? What 
forrow will not this remove, that the God of all confola- 
tion is thy God? What want will not this fupply, that 
the pofTeffor of heaven and earth is thine? What enemies 
will not this overthrow, that God almighty is thy God ? 
What fms will not this do away, that the God of pardors 
is thy God ? What grace and glory will not this aflure of, 
that the God of all grace afiures thee he will be thy God ? 
And what doubts and fcruples about thy falvation will not 
this refolve, feeing it lets thee know, that the Lord, the 
Saviour of his people, is thy God ? Therefore, O live upon 
this promife, that thou mayft live for evermore ; let your 
life be a life of faith thereon : let your mind live upon it 
by contemplation ; let your confcience live upon it by 
tranquillity and peace ; let your will live upon it by fub- 
miflion ; and let your heart and afledions live upon it by 
delight and defire, 


'45 o Sovereign Antidotes agaifi/l Slavijh Fear, 


Are you interefled in God ? Then live up to your l 
privilege. Live as thefe who pofTeis a God, a whole Deity, i 
O live not carnally, but fpiritually ; for, 'to be carnally mind- | 
ed is death ^ hut to lie fpiritually minded is life and peace. Live 
not fo much beiow as above ; for God is in the heavens, 
and therefore let your converfition be in heaven. Study to 
live inofrenfively towards God and man; Acts xxiv. i6. 
Herein do I e:<:ercife ?nyfelf to have alivays a confcience void of 
offence towards Gcd^ and toivards men. Live not fretfully, - 
but contentedly ; Heb. xiii. 5 . Let your converfation be ivith- 
out covetoufnef^ arid he content voith fuch things as ye have; 
for he hath f aid ^ I will never leave thee nor forfake thee. Live 
not difconfolately, but joyfully ; Hab. iii. 18. / will re- 
joice in the Lord ; I will joy in the God of my falvation. Live 
not like the fwine upon the hu&s of this earth, but upon 
angels food, the manna^ which is from above. Live not 
iike them that are without God, without Chriii:, and with- 
out hope ; but like thefe who are interefted in, and full 
of all thefe. 

3 . O iiudy to get all around you poffeft of God, and par- 
ticularly your friends and relations. Is the Lord become 
favingly thy God, in a new-covenant relation? and do ye not 
defire he may be the God of thy hufband, wife, children ; 
and, if it were poffible, of all your relations ? Haft thou 
found fuch a blifsful advantage, by taking God to be • 

•vours? and do vou not wiili all your relations were fuch 

4 4 J 

as you are, excepting your infirmities ? O then, commend 
this relation to them frequently, magnify the treafures of 
it highly, difplay the glory and fulnefs of it pathetically, 
urge them to ftretch out their hands to God in the pro- 
mife, to take hold of his ftrength, and be at peace wdth 
him, that the Lord may be their God and they his people 
eternally ; and, O for this purpofe improve your own in- 
tereil in him. 

4. O rejoice in your privilege; Pfal. cxlix. 2. Let Ifrael 
rejoice in him that made him ; let the children of Zion be joy- 

Sovereign Ant'ulotes againjl Slavijlj Fear^ 4^*1 

ful in their King, What greater cordial than an intereft 
in the Deity! When our Redeemer was upon wing to 
glory, he could not leave a richer confolation with his 
difciples than an intereft in God as their God ; John xx. 
17. Go to my brethren^ and fay unto them^ I afcend unto my 
Father^ and your Father ; and to my God^ and your God. 
Who Ihould rejoice but thefe who are poficfTed of an infi- 
nite and all-fuflicient God, who can lill their delircs to the 
brim, and make them overflow? What though ye be poor 
in the world, ye have enough, ye have all: what though 
ye be afilicled by want of health, ye have God who is the 
health of your countenance : what tho' the fig-tree fhould 
not bloflbm, ye may rejoice in the Lord ; therefore. Rejoice 
evermore. ' , 

5. O let your fouls break forth into fongs of praife for 
your privilege: this is but your reafonable fcrvice; Pfal. 
cxviii. 28. Fhou art my God, and I 'will praife thee ; thou 
art my God, I will exalt thee. O aftoniiliing mercy, that 
God fliould take you, who are finful duft and afhes, into 
fuch nearnefs of love and affeclion, as to be your Godl 
As Micah faid to the Danites, What have I more? So what 
has God more than himfelf ? That God ihould Q:ive others 
but the blefilngs of the footftool, and you the bleffings of 
the throne : that he iliould Q:ive srifts to the men of the 
world, as Abraham to the fons of his concubines, and the 
inheritance to you as he did to Iiaac, is wonderful indeed ! 
C) then praife him; Pfal. xxxii. 1 1. Be glad in the Lord, 
and rejoice ye righteous ; and fhout for joy, all ye that are 
upright in heart, O begin the vv^ork on earth in which ye 
will be for ever engaged in heaven; Pfal. cxlvi. 2. While 
I live, 11' ill I praije the Lord ^ I willfi?!? praifes unto my God^ 
while I have any being, 

[2.] To fuch as are without God, our exhortation is. 
Come and take him for your God. In other things ye 
llrive for property ; this houfe is mine, this land is mine, 
thefe corn and cattle are mine ; and why not fay, this God 

LIl 2 

452 Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Fear. 

is mv God? Thefe are two little words, which alone will 
fatisfy your fouls, my God : and if you take away the one, 
you take away the other ; for what is God, if he be not 
in me ? What better was it for the old world that they 
had an ark, as long as they did not get into it? So, what 
better wnll ye be, that there is a God, if ye get not an in- 
tereft in him ? If ye can only fay as the king of Bab) Ion, 
Da7nel*s God, and not as Thomas, My Lord, and my Godf 
Therefore, O come, and lay claim, by faith, to God as 
your God in covenant, upon the ground of his word of 
grace, / am thy God, 

I. O but, fay you. What way fhall we come at an inte- 
reft in God as our own ? I anfwer. In all the w^orld, I 
know of no way but one, and that is Chrift ; John xiv. 
6. / am the ivay. An incarnate Redeemer is your way 
to God, as well as God's w^ay to you? Heb. x. 19, 20, 
Having therefore.^ brethren, holdnefs to enter into the holieft^ 
hy the blood of Jefus, by a new and living zaay which he hath 
confecrated for us, through the vail, that is to fay, his flefJj, 
The human nature of Chrill:, aflumed to the perfonality 
of the Son of God, is the gate whereby ye are to come at 
God as yours; John x. 9. / ain the door. Out of Chrift 
lie cannot be your God, nor the God of any of the human 
race ; becaufe ye have forfeit all claim to him as your God, 
by the breach of the fi'rft covenant ; and the juilice, truth, 
and holinefs of God, oppofe the taking place of any fuch 
relation betw^een God aixd you, except upon the footing 
of juilice fully fatlsfled, and judgment fully executed upon 
the Surety: but our Lord Jefus, by his holy nature, righ- 
teous life, and fatisfying death, having perfeclly fulfilled 
the law, and fo fatisfied the iufcice, holinefs, and truth 
of God, he becomes an amicable covenant- God to iinners 
through him ; fo that there is nothing more requifite to 
make God your God, but only to believe in the Loixl Jefus: 
^/^/j is the gate of God^ and by it, iinners like you, may 
^nter in^ 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavifh Fear. 453 

2. O but, fay you, to whom does God offer to be a 
God in Clirift? I anfwer, To mankind Tinners, of all forts 
and iizes: if they be defcended of the firft Adam, they 
are welcome to the fecond Adam ; Prov. viii. 4. Unto you^ 
O men^ I call ; and my voice is to the fons of men. — Is the offer 
to righteous and holy men? no; it is to you, O men; 
iinful men ; for, He came not to call the righteous^ but Jtnners 
to repentance, — Is it to the opulent? no; Ho every one that 
thlrfteth ; and he that hath no money, — Is it to them that 
have their ftock remaining ? no ; it is to divours and bank- 
rupts ; Rev. iii. 17, 18. 'Thou art wretched^ and mifer able ^ 
and poor ^ and blind^ and ?iaked : I coimfel thee to buy of me 
gold, tried in the fire, that thou may ft be rich, — It is to the 
blind, the maimed, the halt ; and, in a word, it is to e- 
very creature under heaven, if it be on this fide hell; 
Mark xvi. 15. Go ye unto all the world, and preach the gofpel 
to every creature ; that is, every rational foul ye fliall meet 
with, fprung of Adam : go preach the gofpel, or tell them 
in the name of the God of grace, this good news, that God 
in Chrift offers to be their God for ever and ever. O but, 
fay you, did not God from eternity deJfign only to be the 
God of the elecl, and I know not if I be elected ; how 
then can I take God to be my God ? I anfwer, No doubt, 
God defigned from eternity only to be the God of the eledl, 
and they only fhall obtain this privilege ; for the foundation 
cf God flandeth fare, having this feal, the Lord knoweth them 
that are his : but I muff alfo fay, that ye do not know 
whether ye be elected or not ; for it is impoHible to know 
your election before you take God to be your God. E^ 
ledlion is a fecret ; it runs under ground till faith be im- 
planted in the foul, and then it breaks forth : then, and 
not till then, is this fecret brought to light ; Give all dili- 
gence to make your calling and eleclionfure, I anfwer, fur- 
ther, that ye have nothing to do with election in taking 
God for your God. It is not upon the ground of electing 
love, that ye are to fay he is yours 5 but upon the ground 

45^4 Sovereign Antidotes againft Slavijh Fear. 

of the word of grace, / am the Lord thy God ; or upon the 
ground of God's offering to be your God. When one of 
your neighbours offers you any gift whatever, do ye ufe 
to refufe it, till ye know that God defigned it for you ? 
no; ye look upon his offering it to you, as a fufUcient 
warrant : and why not take God for your God, upon the 
warrant of his making over himfelf to you in the word of 
grace ? Your warrant to believe, or to take God for yours, 
does no way depend on your eledlion ; for the reprobate 
have as fair a warrant to believe, as the elecl have, o- 
therwife they could not be condemned for their unbelief, 
as they are: He that believeth iiot^ is conde?7med already. 
You reckon it needlefs and unreafonable to pry into God's 
decrees, before you apply yourfelves to other undertakings 5 
and it is as unreafonable here. When you are danger- 
ouily iick, and the phyfician tells you, that unlefs you 
take fuch medicines as he prefcribes, your cafe is defpe- 
rate. Do ye ufe to reafon thus ; If I knew that God had 
decreed my recovery, I would take what is prefcribed ; 
but till I know this, I will take nothing ? no ; ye take it 
directly : well, ye are finners, and fo ready to perifli ; God 
fays in the gofpel, " / a?n thy God, and thy f ah at ion f caft 
" thyfelf on me, there is no other way to be faved." But 
• fay ye. If I knew the Lord had decreed to be my God and 
falvation, I would venture on him ; but till I know this, 
I cannot believe. Oh the unreafonablencfs of unbelief! it 
makes men acl as if they vvere diftraclcd. O Sirs, let not 
the devil and a deceitful heart lead you in among, the de- 
crees of God, which are fecrets, and fo do not belong to 
you ; but look you to things revealed, to commanded 
duty, w^hich is to believe, and then you fliall know your 
election of God. Object not, that it is only to believers 
God fays in the text, / am thy God, and how can I take 
him for mine ; be it fo, that it is only to believers that 
he fays, / am thy God in adiual poffeffion ; yet it 4^ to lin- 
ners of mankind indefinitely, he gives himfiilf in point of 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl SlaviJIj Feai\ 455' 

offer and exhibition. Now, it is not upon the ground of 
his giving himfclf to bolievers, in aclual polfeflion, that we 
call you to take God for your God ; for his giving himfclf 
to fome, can never, in reafon, be reckoned a warrant for 
all to believe : but it is upon the ground of his faying fo 
in the word of revelation ; and thus it is a ground of faith 
for every one of you : and the man or woman that does 
not take Ged, upon the ground of the promifes, confider- 
ed in the word as exhibited to all at once, rebels againft 
the authority of God, in the command to believe, and 
gives the lie to his faithfulnefs engaged in the promifer 
and therefore, Let us fear^ Jeji a promife being left us of en- 
tering into his refl^ any of us fhould feem to come fhort of it. 

3. Perhaps fome may further objecl, and fay, O bat 
what warrant have we iinners of mankind to take God for 
our God ? Why, your warrant, if ye be finners of man- 
kind, is incontcftible. The promife, / will be your God, 
is a fufficient warrant ; that carries a general indorfemcnt 
or dire6lion, to all the race of Adam : To you is the ivord 
of this fahation fent. When the apoflle Peter w^as preach- 
ing to an affembly of men, who had eiubrued their hands 
'in the blood of the Son of God, he tells them, to believe 
their own falvation, and that upon the warrant of the pro- 
mife ; The -promife is to you^ and to your children : and what 
Peter faid to his hearers, fo fay I to you ; the promife, / 
will be your God^ is to you ; and therefore do not Ihut the 
door of faith upon yourfelves, which God fets wide open. 
The command of God to believe, which binds and obliges 
every one of you to do fo, is a fufficient v/arrant for your 
faith to build upon ; This is his commandment^ that ye fhould 
believe* Such a good-will does God bear to your lalvation, 
that he has interpofed his authority, enjoining you to be- 
lieve, or take God for your God, and that with certifica- 
tion of incurring his eternal difpleafure and wrath, if ye 
believe not ; He that believeth not, fhall be damned. The 
gift and grant that God has made of Chrift, and of .him- 

45^ Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavi/h Fear. 

felf in Chrift, in thefe words, / am the Lord thy God, was 
to every one in the camp of Ifrael ; and fo fays he to every 
one within the pale of the vifible church, which is an in- 
conteftible Vv^anant to take him for your God, to appro- 
priate and apply him to yoarfelf, faying, This God is my 
God for ever. This gift and grant certainly implies a right 
and title to take : he is fo given to you, that all that hear 
the grant, have warrant to take polTeflion. Sirs, God is 
your own God already, by way of grant and offer, whe- 
ther ye chufe him or not ; as he faid to the Jews, He came 
to his cuun^ and his ow?i received him not : but faith's im- 
provement of this gift and grant, would make him yours 
in poffeffion. 

4. But, may you ftlU fay, I queflion my right to take 
God for my God ; for I am afraid, that in . attempting it, 
I fhall be chargeable with prefum.ption. I anfwer. Be 
what you will, it can be no prefumption for you to take 
God for your God, becaufe you are warranted fo to do. 
Is it prefumption to pray? is it prefumption to praife, &cJ 
You do not reckon it prefumption to do any of thefe, be- 
caufe ye are commanded of God : as little can it be pre- 
fumption to believe, feeing this is the duty God has com- 
manded you ; This is the ivork of God^ that ye believe on 
him whom he hath fent. No doubt, many do prefume in 
their believing ; but it is not becaufe they believe, for 
that is their duty ; but it is becaufe they believe not in a 
right manner ; as when men pretend to believe, and do it 
not, from a fenfe of the authority of God's command, and 
not out of obedience thereto : this is prefumption with a 
witnefs ; for, A man can receive nothing except it he given 
him from above: or when they build their expectations of 
mercy upon fomething in themfelves, and not upon the 
merits and mediation of our Lord Jefus, fet before them 
in the word of grace, that is prefumption ; for the word 
of God warrants thee to look for falvation only by grace: 
or when you clofe with God in Chriit only for pardon of 

Sovereig7i Antidotes agamjl Slavi/h Fear. 45*7 

fin, but do not clofe with him, nor believe in him, for 
power agAinfl: fm, but look to be faved, though ye live 
peacedbly in fin: then it is prefumption in the higheft de- 
gree ; to fay we pall have peace^ though ive walk hi the i* 
magi nations of our own hearts. But to take God for your 
God upon the warrant of the word of grace, and cncou* 
ragement of the promifes, can never be prefumption, fee- 
ing you are not ading without fuflicient warrant. Come 
forward therefore, poor trembling foul, and lay hold on 
God as thy God, and he will in no wife caft thee out. You 
think it would be prefumption to believe, though God re- 
veals it to be his will ; but at the fame time you are guilty 
of the greateft prefumption, in difobeying the command 
of God, and not taking him for your God. 

5 . But you may objecl again, and fiy, God in his word 
fays to fome. How JJmll 1 put thee among the children ? And 
I fear I am one of thofe of v/hom he thus fpeaks ; and 
therefore dare not lay claim to him as my God. Poor 
foul ! that is the language of God in the law ; but it need 
not hinder you from taking God to be your God, as held 
forth in the gofpel, as you may fee from what follows ; 
Jer. iii. i^;. I faid, Thou p alt call me my Father^ and Jh alt 
not turn away from me. Sirs, were we calling you to take 
God for your God upon the grant of the firft covenant, 
ye might well f;iy, My J}rc?igth and my hope is perifhed from 
the Lord: but it is upon the new-covenant grant made or 
God, which goes not upon the footing of perfonal, but 
imputed worth ; not upon the footing of your own obe- 
dience to the law, but upon the ground of fovereign grace^ 
reigning through the righteoufnefs of Chrift, and that ta 
loft finners without exception. 

6. Alas! fay you. It is in vain to bid me lay claim to 
the God of grace ; for I am no more able to do this, than 
to remove mountains, or rend the rocks out of their place; 
I anfwer; No doubt, ye are quite unable for it: for, Iso 
man can come unto mc^ e>;ccpt the Father which fent me drat'O 

M Ki m 

458 - Sovereign Antidotes againjl Slavijh Fear. 

him. Neverthelefs, it is not in vain to bid you believe: 
for it is not men that bid you believe, but God, who com- 
mands things that are not, as though they were ; and his 
command is the channel wherein believing power comes 
to the foul, as when he commanded the poor man with 
the withered hand. Stretch forth thine hand. The man 
attempted it, and in making the attempt, he got power 
from him fo to do, who giveth power to the faint : there- 
fore efiay believing in a dependance on the power of God, 
that he may fulfil in you all the good fleafure of his goodnefs. 
— Again, you fay you cannot believe ; and it is very true; 
but know, that this needs be no bar ; for the command 
to believe is connecled with the promife of believing, which 
carries grace in it to enable you for believing ; Pfal. xxii. 
3 I. They fh all come* Zeph. iii. 12. / will alfo leave in the 
midfl of thce^ an afflided and poor people^ and they fhall trujl 
in the na?ne of the Lord. God's promifes are as large as his 
exhortations 5 that is, there is nothing he exhorteth ta, 
but there is fome promife or other to anfwer it. Is it his 
commandment, Make you a new heart? it is his promife, 
A new heart alfo will Igiveyou.—-\'s> it his command, Wafh 
your heart from vj I eke dnefs? it is his promife. From all your 
JUthimjfes^ and from -all your idols will I cleanfe you. — Is it his 
commandment that ye fhould believe? it is his promife, 
hi him fJiall the Gentiles trufr. Therefore whenever God 
calls you to beheve, take hold of the promife and plead 
it with him 5 and power to enable you to believe ihall at- 
tend it. 

7. But you urge, I am quite weary ; I have long eifay- 
ed beheving, or laying claim to God as my God; but 
have as yet felt no power enabling me thereto : I am juft 
where I was. Well, be itfo; yet be not difcouraged, 
but lift up the hands which hang down, and wait upon 
the Lord j for they that wait on the Lord fJmll renew their 
firength. The poor man waited thirty-eight years at the 
pool for the troubling of the water, and at laft the Lord 

Sovereign Antidotes againjl SlaviJJj Fear. 45 9^ 

came, and healed him : Go ye and do likewife. And to en- 
force the exhortation, 

(i.) Confider, that while ye have not God to be your 
God, ye have nothing at all. Perhaps you can plead your 
property in many things upon earth, and may value 
yourfelves on that account ; but while ye cannot fay God 
is yours, in facl nothing is yours ; for the curfe of God 
is upon all that you have, and his curfe blafls where-ever 
it comes : ye are curfcd in your bajhet and in your jiore ; and 
hence all you have can do you no good, but evil ; Prov, 
i. 32. The frofperity of fools deflroys them. Yea, Sirs, while 
ye have not God co be your God, though ye had all oa 
earth, and all in heaven, you have nothing. Without 
God as yours in covenant, what is the world but a de- 
formed chaos ? What the earth, but a woful w^ldernefs ? 
Yea, what would heaven itfelf be but emptinefs ? 

(2.) Confider, that while ye have not God to be yours^ 
he is againj} you. If he did but ftand neuter, though he 
did not help you, your cafe were not fo miferable; the" 
he fhould give you up to the will of your enemies to do 
their worft w^ith you, yet this were not fo fearful ; for, as 
there is no friend like him, fo no enemy like him : but 
till ye be interefted in him, God is againft you ; Ezek. v. 
8. Therefore thus faith the Lord God, /, even I a?n againjl 
thee.-^The, face of the Lord is againft you ; Pfal. xxxiv. 
16. The face of the Lord is againjl them that do evil, to cut 
off' the re?nembrance of them from the earth: and wo to them 
whom God fets his face asfainit. When he did but look 
on the hoft of the Egyptians how terrible was their con- 
fternation ! — The heart of God is agaihft you, for he hateth 
all the workers of iniquity, — 1 he hand of God is againft you \ 
I Sam. xii. 15. If ye will not obey the voice of the Lord, but 
rebel againjl the commajidment of the Lord, then fhall the hand 
of the Lord be againft you, — All the attributes of God are a- 
gainft you : his jujlice like a flaming fword unftieathed, is 
againft you ; Deut. xxxii. 41,42. If I whet 7ny glittering 

M m m 2 

4^0 Sovereign Antidotes againjz SlaviJJj Fear. 

Jkvord^ and mine hand fake hold on judgment^ I will render 
'vemeance to mine enemies^ and will reward them that hate me. — - 
The holinefs of God is full of antipathy againO; you ; Pfal. 
V. 4. For thou art not a God that hath pleafure in wickednefs ; 
neither Jloall evil dwell with thee. — The power of God is 
armed like a mighty warrior againil you. The ^/(?ry of 
God's power is to be difplayed in the confufion and de- 
ftrudion of all them that obey not the gofpel ; 2 TheiT. i, 
S 5 9 . 'Faking vengeance on them that know not God^ and that 
cbey not the gofpel of our Lord Jefus Chrift ; who fhall he pU' 
Tiifhed with everlafiing deflruElionfrom the prefence of the Lor dy 
and from the glory of his power. •■ — The wifdom of God is fet 
to ruin you; Pfal. vii. 12, 13. He will whet his fword^ he 
hath bent his how and made it ready ; he hath alfo prepared 
for him the inflrwnents of death.— ^T\\z truth of God is againft 
you : Pfal. xcv. 1 1 . Unto whom I fware in my wrath., that 
ihey fhould not enter into my reft. If he be true and faith- 
ful to his word, ye mull periih ; for he hath faid, He that 
believeth not., is condemned already. Upon the fin of man 
all the attributes of God put on an air of wrath and ven- 

(3.) Confider, that while ye are without God, ye have 
TiOt one faj} friend in all the creation; fo you are never 
fafe : while the Lord of hofts is againil: you, you may be 
fure all the hofts of the Lord are aeainft vou ; and all the 
creatures up in arms ready to revenge their Lord's quarrel, 
till the controverfy be made up between God and you, 
and he make a covenant of peace for you with his creatures ; 
Rom. viii. 2 2. The whole creation ^roaneth and travelleth in 
fain together until 720W. The earth groans under you, and 
hell groans for you, till death fatisfy both, by unburden^- 
ing the earth and ftopping the mouth of hell upon you. 

■ Laflly^ Confider how fully and freely God makes him- 
felf over to you : even now he fays. Be not difmayed, I am 
thy God. Ihis promife is unto you^ and to your children^ 
and to all that are afar o£\ even as many as the Lord our 

Sovereign Antidotes agahijl SlaviJIj Fear. -461 

God JImll call. Here is a treafure opened to you, infinite- 
ly more precious than the whole creation of God, and 
which will enrich you through eternity, when the earth 
and the works therein ihall be burnt up, and there fliall 
be no more fea. Wherefore, we befeech you, by the worth 
of your fouls, and in the bowels of Jefus, to accept of fuch 
an offer, while you have it, and if thou be wife^ thou Jhalt 
be wife for thyfelf; but if thou fcornejl^ thou alone jhalt bear 
it. If you live and die in your gracelefs ftate, the awful 
moment will come, when God, from his throne of judg- 
ment, lliall pronounce the irrevocable fentence. Depart 
from me, ye curfed^ into ever lajling fire : but now, from his 
throne of grace, he iffues forth a royal proclamation in 
your favours, whatever you are or have been ; Hear^ 
my profeffed people^ and I will fpeak ; Ifrael^ and I will 
tejlify again]} thee ; againft thy folly and unbelief, / am God, 
EVEN THY God. This he is faying to you, finner, / am 
God J even thy God: and what would you have more? Is 
not this a fufficient ground to fupport your firmeft belief 
in him as your God, and to juftify your immediate reply, 
in the words of Thomas, My Lord a7id my G<?(i ^-—Having 
him for your God, it fhall go well with you through life ; 
tho* bodily diilrefs be your daily companion, and your foul 
dwell among fierce lions, the Lord fhall be with you in 
trouble to deliver you. — It fhall go well with you at death ; 
when you at laft come to t\\t fwelUngs of Jordan, and muft 
pafs over the lake that lies betwixt the two worlds, he 
fhall waft you over in fafety to Immanu ill's land. — And 
it fliall go well with you for ever ; you fhall come to the 
general affembly, and church of the firjl-born, and to God the 
Judge of all J and to Jefus the Mediator of the new covenant. 
And may it pleafe God to reveal his Son in you ; and, call* 
ing you effectually by his grace, determine you to incline 
your ear, and come unto him ; to hear^ and your fouls flmll 
live* Amen. 

[ 4^2 ] 


he Saints on P^arth^ Strangers and 
Sojourners with God. 

Psalm xxxix. 1 2, 

/ am a Ji ranger ivith thee, and a fojourner^ as all my 

fathers tvere, 

THIS Pfalm fbems to have been compofed by David 
when his mind was much difquieted ; for it is with 
fome difficulty he conquers his paffion, and compofes his 
fpirit, to take that good advice which he had given to o- 
thers. To reft in the Lord^ and wait -patiently for him^ with' 
out fretting : for it is eaiier to give the good advice than to 
give the good example of quietnefs under affliction. What 
the particular trial was, which gave occafion to his pre- 
fent conflict, doth not appear ; perhaps the death of fome 
•ear relation, fuggeilied to him thefe meditations of mor- 
tality/ At the fame time that he was diftreiled himfelf ; 
his enemies likewife were feeking advantages againft him, 
that they might have wherewith to reproach him : being' 
thus a2rs:rieved, — He relates the {lru8:2:le that was in his 
breail between grace and corruption, betwixt patience and 
pailion, m the hrft three verfes.— Next he contemplates 
x\\z 6.o,zxx\Vi& of man's frailty and mortality, and prays that 
God would inftrucl him concerning it, from the 4th to the 
7 th verfe; Lord make me to know mine end^ and the meafure 
of my days^ what it is, that I may know how frail I am* 
He does not mean, " Let me know how long I fliall live ; 
*' and when I fliall die:" we cannot pray thus in faith, 
for God hath no where promifed to let us know it, but 
hath locked this up among the fecret things that belong 
to him and not to us \ but he means, " Lord, give me 

7he Saints on Earth, &c. 463 

" wlfdom and grace to know my latter end, what death 
^' is, and in general how near it is, and that it is con- 
tinually working in me, that 1 may be concerned about 
the houfe not made with hands ^ eternal In the heavens.^'* — 
And then he applies himfelf to God for the pardon of his 
fins, the removal of his affliclions, and the audience of his 
prayer; for, when there is no folid fatisfaclion to be had 
in the creature, it is to be found in God ; when created 
comforts fail us, it is a comfort we have God to apply un- 
to. And what is his argument when he begs for audience? 
it is drawn from his condition in this world. The whole 
verfe runs thus ; Hear my prayer^ Lord^ and give ear un- 
to my cry ; hold not thy -peace ai my tears ; for I am a flr an- 
ger with thee : as if hehad faid, " Lord take cognizance of 
me, and of my wants and burdens ; for I am a ftran- 
ger here, and meet with ftranger's ufage : I am flighted 
and oppreffed as a ftranger ; and w^hence fliould I expecl 
" relief, but from thee, from that other country to w^hich 
" I belong r" 

In which words we have thefe four things following, 
'( I .) The condition of the people of God in this world ; 
they are jlrangers and fojourners : two w^ords are ufed to 
exprefs it, Jl ranger and fojourner, A stranger, accord- 
ing to the true meaning of the original word, is one who 
comes from his own, into a foreign country, with, a defign 
not to ftay long. A sojourner is one who ftays fome 
time longer in a foreign place ; but a citizen is oppofed to 
both: fo the people of God are ftrangers on earth, but 
citizens in heaven. Or, ftranofers are fuch as are always 
in motion, having no abiding place at all ; and fojourners 
are fuch as take up their abode for a feafon, without par- 
taking in the rights, duties, and privileges of the place 
wherein they are. 

(2.) The commonnefs of the condition. / am a flranger; 
and a fojourner ^ as all my fathers were. Thus Abraham 
lived in the land of promife, in the condition of a fojourner, 

4<$4 The Saints on Earthy 

not of an inhabitant ; therefore it is called the land of his 
fojoiirning : fo it was with Jacob, as he profeiTes to Pharaoh; 
The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and 
thirty years. Thus David here profeiTes himfelf a ftranger; 
but perhaps he fpoke this when he was under perfecution, 
and in banifliment, when he was hunted as a partridge 
upon the mountains ? No ; he adopts the fame language, 
towards the end of his life, when he was eftabliihed upon 
the throne of Judah and Ifrael, and had conquered all op- 
pofers at home and abroad ; when the land flowed with 
abundance of every thing, and the people feemed to be as 
much at home, as ever they were or could be ; every one 
fitting and finglng under his own vine and fig-tree* But, 
perhaps this was the condition of God's people under the 
law only ? no ; it is the fame under the gofpel: hence fays 
Peter, / befeech you as Jl rangers and pilgrims^ i Pet. ii. ii. 

(3.) Whaty^r^ of flrangers they are : they are ftrangers 
vjith God, They are not ordinary ftrangers, but God's 
ftrangers : but of this more afterwards. 

(4.) In the words wx have their acknowledgment that 
this is their condition; / ajn a Jlranger. In fome refpecl 
all men are ftrangers : wicked men have no fixed dwelling- 
place upon earth; they muftfoon leave it, but this isagainft 
their will ; their defire is that they may abide for ever. But 
faints are ftrangers in aifeclion, as well as condition ; they 
confefs themfelves fuch, Heb. xi. 1-2^,- A?id they confejjed 
that they ivere ftrangers and pilgrims on the earth, Abra- 
ham confefled it to the people of the land ; Gen. xxiii. 4. 
/ a?n a Jl ranger and a fojourner ivith you, Jacob confefled 
it to Pharaoh, and David here confefies it to God. 

DocT. That the faints on earthy both in fact ^ and in their 
0W71 opinion, are fir angers and fojourner s ivith God, 

In difcourfing upon this fubjecl, we fhall obferve the 
following method. 

Strangers and Sojourners nvith GOD, 4^5 

L To fliew in what refpecl they 2iVt Jlrwgers, 

II. In what refpedl they are ftrangcrs with God, 

III. To fpeak of their confejjlon that they are ftrangcrs^ 

IV. Make fome practical application of the fubject. 

1. We are to fhow in what refpe6i:s the faints dxt firqn"' 
gers 'MiA fojourners on earth. And they are fo in facl, 'and 
in their own opinion ; or both in their condition and in 
their characler. 

ly?, The faints on earth are ftrangers and fojourners in 
their condition^ which will appear from the following par- 

I . They are ahfent from their native country, and their 
Father's houfe. While the people of God are in this world, 
they are from home : it is the houfe of their pilgrimage, 
as David calls it ; Pfal. cxix. 5 4. 'Thy jlatutes have been my 
fon^s in the houfe of my pilgrimage. Reft, home, or happi- 
nefs is the common purfuit of mankind ; and we were o- 
riginally entrufted with powers fit for the attainment of 
it, but by fin thefe powers are loft, and the end is no more 
attainable by them. However, we cannot but continue 
to feek after it ; and the men of the world feek after it 
in this world ; this is therefore their home, their country, 
their city of habitation : but it is otherwife with the peo- 
ple of God ; they look for it In heaven: hence heaven is 
their home, and this world is a ftiange land to them, how 
much foever of it they enjoy. 

2. They are at a preat dijlance from their relations. A 
ftrangcr, you know, is without his relations in the coun- 
try he is pafling through ; for thcfc are in his native coun- 
try : and juft fo it is with the people of God, though they 
have many enemies in the world, yet few friends ; their 
beft and deareft friends live in heaven : there dwells their 
Father; and hence they are directed to pray, Our father 
which art in heaven: there dwells our Lord Jefus, their 
elder brother, A friend that fticketh cloffer than a brother ^ 

N n n 

466 The Saints en Em^th^ 

for, when be had by himfelf purged away their fins, he fat 
down on the right-hand of God ; and him the heavens mufl 
receive till the time of the reftitution of all things : and there 
dwells the Holy Ghoft, their kind and powerful fanclifier, 
guide, and comforter, who concurs with the Father, and 
the Son, to breathe down upon them warm and refrefh- 
ing influences of light, life, and joy; hence we read of 
the Holy Gho/i being fent down from heaven: and there dwells 
an innumerable company of angels, wdio arc their guard ; 
for, The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that 
fear him: and there dwell all the fpirits of juft men made 
perfecl, their adult brethren. It is true, as a ftranger 
may have a friend or two in a ftrange land, though not 
many ; fo the people of God have fome of their relations 
in this world, viz, the faints, who are all related to one 
another as brethren, having one Father, one elder Bro- 
ther, one Spirit, and one inheritance (and it were well if 
they would love one another, and agree together as bre- 
thren) : but all the glorious and blelTed inhabitants of hea- 
ven are the believer's near and dear friends ; and they are 
honourable connexions indeed. A Solom.on, on his throne, 
is as far below the meaneft inhabitant of heaven, as the 
2:limmenn2: of a olow-worm is inferior to the lio^ht of the 
fun ; 'There fijall the righteous fJoine forth as the fun in the 
king-dom of their Father, 

3. They many times m.eet with rough ufage or bad 
treatment from the natives. Here many injuries are done 
them, and they have but few friends ; Many are the troubles 
that afflict the juft. Wicked men often profper in the world ; 
they are like thiftjes and nettles which grow of their own 
accord, the world being their native foil : but faints feldom 
thrive in the world, being like ftrange plants brought from 
a foreign country, v/hich do not agree with the nature of 
the foil they are brought to. There are four things, in 
which, the godly and the wicked are contrary to one an- 

Strangers and Sojour^iers nvith GOD, 4<$7 

(i.) They are contrary in t\\c\v pedigree and original; for 
the wicked are of their father the devil ; but flints arc borii 
of God. 

(2.) They are contrary in their converfation and lualk ; 
the godly walking in the v/ay of God's commandments, 
the wicked walking in the way of their own hearts. 

(3.) They are contrary in their ends and aims ; the godly 
aimino^ at God's oicrv, the wicked feekins: themfelv^es. 

(4.) They are contrary in their very nature ; unholinefs 
being the nature of the wicked, and holinefs the nature 
of the godly; hence the wicked perfecute the godly, en- 
mity being fixed and rooted in their hearts agauift them : 
it is their nature to do it ; and the fire fhall as foon lofe 
its heat, or a (lone its weight, as natural men their hatred 
of thofe that are fpiritual : as it is faid, that he who was 
born after the flefh, ferfecuted hi?n that was after the Spirit; 
fo, look into the xi. of the Hebrews, from the 36th verfe, 
and you will fee how they were ufed, of whom the world 
was not worthy ; fome were tortured and fawn afunder ; others 
had trials of cruel mockings and fcGurgings^ &c. — Here are 
flrangers indeed, and flrangely ufed ; neither was tliis pe- 
culiar to them ; it has been the lot of the people of God 
in all ages, and will be fo to the end of time : For if .iny 
man will live godly in Chrijl Jefus, he muft fuffer perfecution^ 
2 lim. ni. I 2. 

4. They are ftrangers in regard they are but little known 
in the world : hence they are called God's hidden ones^ 
Pfal. Ixxxiii. 3. They have confulted again-} thy hidden ones : 
they are hidden in refpecl of fafety, being in God's hand 
and under the wings of his ipecial protection ; and they 
are hidden in refpecl of fecrecy and obfcurity. There is a 
manifold vail on them In this world, fo that they walk up 
and down unknown, as princf:s in difguife. — There is 
often a vail of outward meannefs and ahafemcr.t on them ; 
and hence it is faid of thofe of whom the world was not 
worthy, that they wandered ab^itt in fkee^s Jnins and goats 

Nnn 2 

4^8 The Saints on Earthy 

Jk'ins : — and who would be apt to think that fo much worth 
could lie under il> mean a gavb ? Would any man judge 
this to be the prime favouriie of heaven, an heir of glorv ? 
and yet it is a certain truth, that God hath chofen the poor 
cf this lucrld rich in faith. — They are commonly under the 
vail of reproach and cahunniesj 2 Cor. vi. 8. As deceivers, 
and yet true ; that is, accounted in the world a company of * 
diilemblers, and yet the faithful fervants and children of 
God. — And they are vailed w^th infirmities : Chriftians 
quench their vigour, and obfcure their glory by infirmi- 
ties, having too much of Adam, and too little of Chrift, 
as the Spoufe owns when flie cries out, Look not upon me 
heca 'fe J am black., &;c. In their obicurity they are con- 
formable to their Head; he had a bright inlide, and a 
dark outiide. The glory of his divine nature was, hidden 
imde- tV.z vail cf his flefh ; He had no form nor comelinefs, 
and io the world knew him not ; for, had they knoivn him, 
they would not have crucified the Lord f glory : fo his people 
Lave a briglit infide, The King's daughter is all glorious with- 
in ; and a dirk outfide, therefore the world knows them 
not : Now are we the children of Gody and the world knows 
us not, 

t; . They are flrangers in refpect of tht\vfupplies. When 
ir.en are travelhna: in a far country, it is from their own 
country they receive remittances of money, which ferve 
to defray their charges till they return: jull: fo, it is from 
I heaven God's ftrangers have all thefe necelTary fupplies of 

grace, v/hich ferve to carry them clirough all the fteps of 
their pilgrimage, till they arrive at their Father*s houfe in 
peace. An heir upon his travels, when he ftands in need 
of fupplies, draws upon his Father, and he makes remit- 
tances to him ; juft fo it is witn the heirs of glory, as they 
are travelling through this ftrange land: when they are in 
want, they draw upon their heavenly Father, and he fup- 
pl* ^'- themi ; My Godfhallfupply all your wants : nay, where- 
ever they go he goes with them to fupply them. The 

Strangers and Sojourners ivith GOD. 469 

provlfion God made for Ifrael of old was in this manner ; 
he clave the rock from which water flowed, and the rock 
followed them in their peregrinations : they not only had 
a draught at prefent, but the water ran in a ilream after 
them: after this you hear no more of their complaints for 
w^ater; and this rock was Chr'ift : fo every believer, pafling 
throucch this world, has (.hriil; at his back, folio win": him 
as he travels, with fupplies for every condition and trial. 
6 . They are flrangers in refpecl of their motion or pro- 
grefs. A ftranger, you know, is always moving on his 
journey ; and juft fo the people of God are makmg gradual 
progrefs to the land of glory : thus it is noticed of Enoch, 
that he walked zvith God ; he ntithtv fat with God, nov Jlood 
w4th him, but he walked with him. The fpiritual travel- 
ler neither (lands ftill nor goes round, like a horfe in an 
engine, who is at night where he was in the morning; 
but he gains ground by his fteps, like one on a journey ; 
He goes from Jlremjth to frengi^tb : be adds to bis fait h^ virtue; 
and to virtue J knowledge ; and to knowledge^ temperance ; and 
to temperance^ patience ; and to patience^ godlinefs ; and to 
godlinefsj brotberly-kindnefs ; and to hrotberly-kindnefs ^ charity. 
He holds on bis way^ and waxes ftrcnger and Jlronger : he is 
always going forv/ard, though he is fometimes driven back 
by wind and florms in heaven's way, and never thinks of 
fitting down till he comes to his Father's houfe. Some- 
times he is fo flraitened, that he can only creep ; at other 
times he is fo enlarged, that he can run : but at all times 
he is for going on towards perfection, prejjing forward to- 
wards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in 
Chrifl Jefus. The hght of his holinefs, though at firft a 
fmall glimmering, is always growing; The path of the juft 
is as the fJnning lights that fhineth more and more unto the 
perfect day : as that goeth on by degrees, and fhineth more 
and more bright to high noon ; fo the path of the juft goes 
on, and increafes in luftre, unto the high noon, the per- 
feft day of glory. 

470 The Saints on Earth, 

7. They are Grangers in refpecl of their inheritance. 
Strangers, you know, have no inheritance in the country 
through which they travel, it lies in their native country: 
iaft fo, the people oT God have no inheritance on earth, 
though they fliould have the fame title to earthly heritages 
tliat other men have, or even a better: thus Abraham had 
the promife of the land of Canaan, and yet it is faid, by 
faith hQ/ojourned in 'the land of prcmife. The whole land 
was his by the befl of rights, and yet he had no inheri- 
tance in it ; no, not fo much as to fet his foot on. Ac- 
cordingly, the firfl thing he takes poiTeilion of in it, was 
a burial-place for his dead : fo that his infeftment was ra- 
ther a farewell, than an entry upon the poffeffion ; and 
he feemed to provide for a departure rather than an abode. 
But tho' the people of God have no inheritance on earth, 
thev have an inheritance in heaven, that deferves the 
name; An inheritance incorruptible^ unde filed, and that fad- 
eth not away: an inheritance which infinitely tranfcends 
all the eftates and poiTeffions of men in this world ; an in- 
heritance that will afford them all defirable good things, 
with equal plenty and variety to all eternity ; an inheritance 
that fhall for ever be as full, as large and fatisfa^lory, as 
their hearts c^n v/lfli. 

8, They are flrangers in regard their Jlay is JJoort, 
Strangers, yoii knov/, turn afide for a night only, and go 
away in the morning : fo the people of God ftay but for 
a fhort time in the world ; Here we have 710 continuing city. 
Some of them juft come into the world, and falute their 
friends, and then take the road homewards : and fuch of 
them as lliay longefl, flay but a fhort time. They need 
no meafuring line wherewith to take the dimenfion of their 
days ; they have the ftandard always at hand : they are 
but an hand-breadth ; yea, as nothing before God. The 
The Spirit of God in fcripture points out to us the brevity 
of our life, by a great number of fimilitudes, that by e- 
very fleeting and decaying object we might be put in mind 

Strangers and Sojourners ivith GOD. 471 

of it. Some of thcfe you have In Job vii. 6, 7. My days 
are fwifter than a weaver* s Jhuttle, O re?7iember that my I'lfe 
is wind, Ver. 9. As the chudis confumed^ and vanijhes azvay. 
Some more you have in chap. ix. ver. 25, 26. of the fame 
book ; Now my days are fwifter than a -poft ; they flee away, 
they fee no good ; they are faffed away as the fwift fhips^ as 
the eagle that hafteth to the frey. Go to the land, and there 
is the fwift riding poft ; to the fea, and there is the fwift. 
falling {hip ; to the air, and there is the fwift flying eagle. 
In a word, their time Is nothing but a coming and going, 
a flood and an ebb, and then they are carried into the o- 
cean of eternity ; Naked came I out of my ?7iother\s womh^ 
and naked flmll I return thither : where obferve there is no 
mention made of his ftay. And it is well for them that 
this is the cafe ; for, what is life, but a detainer of the 
faint fo long in the prifon ? and fo long he is kept out of 
heaven. The fliortnefs of life is not indeed peculiar to the 
faints ; but is common to them with the wicked : for, " No 

man knoweth love or hatred by all that is before him ; 

there is one event to the righteous and to the wicked. 

Fools, as well as wife men, muft die ; nay, like fliecp 

they are laid in their graves; death iliall devour them, 

and confume their beauty from their dwelling:" But 
only the faints, in the exercife of faith, properly confider 
and acknowledge this: Heb. xl. 13. ^hefe all died in faith ^ 
— <2/2(/ CONFESSED that they Were fir anvers and pilgrims on the 
earth. This leads us, 

2^/y, To conlider them as flrangers and fojourners, as 
to their charaEler^ or in their difpofition and deportment. 
And on this you will attend to the following particulars, 

I. They are bound for another country. This ftrange 
country neither loves them^ nor they it ; and therefore 
they are traveUing towards another, that which is their 
home, that better country^ that city prepared for them^ whofe 
builder and maker is God, Thus thefe worthies, in Heb. 
xi. 14. in faying fuch things, declared plai?i/y that they 


47^ The Saints on Earthy 

fought a country; that heavenly country is the place of God*s 
glorious reiidence, and their everlafting abode; and becaufe 
he is their God, it is their home. — This they look for; as it is 
faid of Abraham, he looked for a city, — This thty defire^ Rom. 
viii. 23. Oiirf elves alfo^ which have the fir Jl fruits of the Spi- 
rit^ even we groan within ourfelves^ waiting for the adoption^ 
to wit^ the redemption of our body. They are waiting for 
the time when their inheritance (hall fall into their hands. — 
This they 2.1^ fee king after; We have no continuing city, but 
we feek one to come. It is the great aim and bufmefs of 
their lives to get to heaven, to be at home in their Father's 
houfe. The judgment of the flefli is, " Happy are they who 
" have no want in their families, no complaining in their 
" ftreets ;" but the judgnient of the fiefli is corrected by the 
judgment of faith, Pfal. cxliv. 15. Happy is the people that 
is in fuch a cafe ; yea^ happy is that people whofe God is the 
Lord, Grace in them determines this to be the top of 
their happinefs, to have God for their God ; and fo they 
defign for heaven, where they will fully enjoy him as fuch. 
2. They are fait ably prepared for their journey. A 
llranger that is letting out in a long journey, is concern- 
ed to provide himfelf of a fit equipage ; fo do the people 
of God : a ftranger puts otf his ufual cloathes, and gets 
garments meet and proper for the purpofe : fo the people 
of God fetting out for heaven, caft off the rags of their 
own right eoufnefs, and, by faith, put on the robe of the 
righteoufnefs of our Lord Jefus. — A ftranger is concerned 
to lay alide all weight:^ or burdens^ which would prove any 
impediment to him in his courfe ; and juft fo, the faints 
are concerned to call off every fpiritual weight, as they 
are ordered to do, Heb. xii. i. And thefe weights are 
inordinate affe6lion to things below ; for it is impollible 
a man can run this race with the world on his back, as 
is plain from the inftance of the young man in the gofpel ; 
he came running to Chrift, and feemed to be in full fpeed 
to eternal life 3 but his inordinate love to the world, weigh- 

Strangers and Sojourners ivith GOD. 473 

ed him down. — Much, you know, would be a burden and 
hinderance to one on a journey ; and therefore a flrangcr 
buyeth no fuch things as he cannot carry with him ; he 
does not buy houfes or land, but jewels or pearls, and fuch 
things as are portable; juft fo, much of this world would 
but hinder God's ilrangers ; and therefore fuch things as 
they can carry to heaven take up their time and care- 
Their care is to get the jewels of God's covenant, the 
graces of his Spirit, which will abide with them for ever : 
nay, they are feldom allowed much of the world ; like 
the heir of a great eilate they have little in hand, Gal. 
iv. I. NoiVy I f(iy-i that the heir as long as he is a ch'ild^ dif- 
fer eth nothin<T fro?n a fervant^ though he he Lord of all : but 
they have much in hope. Tit. iii. 7. "That being juft Ified by 
his grace J we Jljould be made heirs according to the hope of eter- 
nal life. Servants and mercenaries muft have pay in hand to 
defray neceflary charges ; fo carnal men, who are hired fer- 
vants, they muft have their reward in fecular conveniences : 
Matth. vi. 2. They have their reward. They give God his 
difcharge, if he will give them honour, wealth, and riches 
in the world ; but the people of God are content with their: 
prefent maintenance and education, knowing that when 
the heritage falls to them, they fhall have enough. In 
this world they have jull enough to bear their expencc, 
I\ly grace is fufficient for thee ; but nothing to fpare : hence 
when the foolifh virgins alked oil for their lamps, No (laid 
the wife) left there be not enough for you and us, — V/e are 
likewife charged to lay aiide the jiti that doth fo eafily befet 
us: either the fm of unbelief, or a man's conftitutional 
fm, or the lin of his nature ; yea, every hn mull be calc 
oil', as. to deiign and endeavour, and fo far as not to be a 
prevalent hinderance, for one fm hugged in the bofom, 
will prove of fad confequence to them ; If I regard iniqui- 
ty in my hearty the Lord will not hear me. But thou2:h a. 
ftrangcr avoids any nece/Tary incumberances in his journey, 

O o o 

474 ^^^ Saints en Earthy » 

yet he finds himfelf concerned to make fuch acquifitions 
as will be expected from him on his arrival at home j fo 
the believer is concerned to get difpofttions Jit for^ and 
evidences of his title to heaven: — to be getting difpofttions Jit 
for it. Col. i. 12. Giving thanks to the Father who hath made 
us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the faints in light, 
God has made heaven ready for them, and he too muft 
make them ready for it j He that hath wrought us for the 
felffame thi?ig is God. As Eilher, when fhe was chofen 
to be Ahafuerus's bride, behoved to accomplifh the months 
of her purification ; fo our lives are, as it were, the months 
of our purification ; and our great bufinefs is to be trim- 
ming our lamps, till the bridegroom come. — And as to be 
getting difpofitions fit for it, fo likewife to be attaining 
evidences of our title to heaven, that we may lay hold on e- 
ternal life, as a man doth on his lawful property and por- 
tion ; hence we are exhorted to give all diligence to make 
our calling and election fur e, 

3. They are ftrangers in regard they are dij/atisfed with 
the w^orld as their portion. A flranger, though he be 
content with any thing in a fi:range land, yet he is fatis- 
fied with nothing in it : and juft fo, God's ftrangers 
are content with little of this world ; but all the world 
would not fatisfy them as a portion. Thus it is reported 
of Luther, when fome of the princes of Germany fent him 
great gifts, " I protefted (fays he) to my God, that I 
*' would not be put off with any of thefe things.*' The 
language of wicked men is, It is good to be here ; let God 
do with heaven what he pleafes : they would not yield their 
portion in this world, for a portion in paradife ; but, fay 
the children of God, this is not our home : they will not fit 
down fatisfied, though the Lord fhould give them this 
world for ever, without the enjoyment of himfelf. It is 
a grief to the wicked to think of a departure, and to be 
taken away from prefent things ; but the people of God 
would not abide here for ever, though God would allow 

Strangers and Sojourners nvitb GOD. 475 

them : / lot he it, I would not live always : I deftre to depart^ 
and to be with Chrift which is far better. God has to draw 
the wicked out of the world as he did Lot out of Sodom j 
The wicked are driven away in their wickednefs ; but it is 
no hard matter to get a Chriftian oat of it; his better 
part is gone already : his heart is away to heaven before 

4. They are Urangers in refped: of their patience and 
contentment. A ftranger, you know, is patient under ill 
ufage, and is content with pilgrim's fare and lodging : 
juft fo, the people of God are now abroad, they muft ex- 
ped: hardihips, and they are content therewith. A man 
that is in a ftrange country, is contented with any diet or 
lodging ; he is glad of any thing though he gets not that 
refpecl or attendance he looks for at home, nor enjoys the 
privileges and immunities of the place, knowing that when 
he comes to his own country, he will have enough : fo it 
is with a child of God, he is in a foreign land, where he 
meets with harfli treatment ; but he is content, knowing 
it will be better with him, when he comes to his own 
country ; that no fooner fhall he arrive at Immanuel's 
land, no fooner fhall he fet his foot, as it were, on the 
border of it, but the very profpect will for ever dry up 
his tears, and baniih all grief and forrow from his heart ; 
Our light affliction^ which is but for a moment^ worketh for 
us afar more exceeding and an eternal weight of glory f God's 
people are fenfible enough of the ill ufage they meet with 
in iheir pilgrimage; but they do not repine at it, nor 
faint under it, unlefs when under a fit of temptation, 
knowing that their own country will make a full recom- 
pence for all ; Phil.iv. 11./ have learned in whatfoever ftate 
I amy therewith to be content. " God (as a certain writer ob- 
" ferves) had brought Paul into as great a variety of con- 
, " ditions as could well befal any man ; and yet he was con- 
'' tent. See, fays he, into what viciffitudes he was caft ; 
'^ z Cor% iv. 8. We are troubled on every fide ^ there was the 

O o 2 

467 The Saints on Earthy 

*' fadnefs of his condition ; yet not dijlreffid^ there was his 
*' ccntentraent in that condition : ive are peri)!cxed^ but not 
*' in defpair. In every ftate, and that is a iarge word, he 
*' had learned to be content ; He knew how to be abafed^ and 
how to abound ; how to be full ^ and how to be hungry, A 
godly man knows how to have a feaPt in famine ; Altho'* 
the fig tree fhould not bloffom^ — yet will I rejoice in the Lord^ 

I will be glad in the God of my filvationy They are not 

only content^ but thankful^ becaufe they knov/ they are lefs 
than the leafl: of his mercies, and by the grace of God they 
^re what thev are. Any thin^ in a ftran^re country is 
anuch to a fl-rans^er : fo the leaft common mercy affects a 
gracious foul, that knows his defert to be nothing but 
jnifery ; and he crys out with Mephiboflieth, when David 
told him he fhould have his lands reflored and ihould eat 
fcread at his table. What is thy fervant that thou fhouldefl 
iook on fiich a dead dog ! Every believer is like Mr. Brad- 
ford, who, when he was lying at queen Mary's mercy, 
H^vhich was cruelty, faid, " If the queen will releafe me, I 
will thank her ; if fhe will imprifon me, I will thank her ; 
if Ihe will burn me, I will thank her:*' fo fays the be- 
lievino: foul, when aclino- like himfelf. Let God do with 
jne Vi^hat he will, I will thank him ; and it is but his 
xeafonable fersdce : In every thifig to give t banks, for this is 
ihe zvill of God in Chrifl Jcfus concerning you» 

5. They are Grangers in refpeci of the ftrain cf their 
thoughts and meditations. \Vhen men are at a diftance 
from their own country, v*'here their friends and relations, 
their interefcs and poileffions are, they are naturally led to 
xnufe much upon home, the place where they have fo 
3i}any dear and valuable concerns: juft fo it is with fpiri- 
tual pilgrims, they are often thinking upon heaven ; Ne- 
'verthefefs^ fays Afaph, I am continually with thee: When I 
cwake, fays David, / am fill with thee : and our converfa- 
tion, fays Paul, is in heaven. By meditation the foul of 
the believer frequently takes its Sight to heaven, and hav- 

Strangers and Sojourners ivith GOD. 477 

ing converfed there a while, returns in a manner fatiatcd 
with the ple.afure and dehghts that were imparted to it ; 
Pfal. Ixiii. 5, 6. When I rejiwiiber thee upon my bed^ and me- 
ditate on thee in the night-watches ; my foul /hall be fatisjied 
as with marrow andfatnefs, — In a word, heavenly minded- 
nefs well becon:;t:s them who profefs to be bound for hea- 
ven, and it hath been the temper of the faints of God in 
all ages ; but, alas ! in thefe dregs of time, thefe is little 
of this temper among us. A woful evidence we are not 
really ilrangers ! When men lavilh out their refpecls by 
whole-fale upon the world, and can fcarce beftow a 
thought on heaven, they are certainly not paffengers, but 
inhabitants j they are at home. 

6. They like Ilrangers are inquijttive about the way^ and 
defirous of going forward with diligence and fpeed. A 
ftranger, you know, is inquifitive about the roads, fear- 
ing he fliould wander : and fo is the believer ; Pfal. cxix. 
19. I a7n a Jl ranger on the earth, hide 7iot thy command- 
ments from me. Strangers are very ready to miftake their 
way ; fo are the people of God : and hence, as they are 
compared to children for weaknefs, fo they are compared 
to flieep for wandering; / have gone aflray like a loft fheep^ 
feek thy fervant, and find me, Befides, there are many by- 
ways in this world, many ways to hell ; but there is but 
one way to heaven, viz, Christ, as a priefl, dying for the 
ftrangers, to appeafe the wrath of God, to make atone- 
ment for fin, to fulfil the law, and to bring in an ever- 
lafting righteoufnefs ; Christ, as a kiiig, to fubdue their 
iniquity, and to reign and rule over them, according to 
his wholefome laws left in his word ; and Christ, as a pro- 
phet, to make them hear a voice behind them, faying, 
'This is the way, walk ye in it. And this makes thefe hea- 
venly ftrangers the more inquifitive about this way: thus 
how fervently and frequently does David, the ftranger 
that fpeaks in the text, cry for guidance in the way ? Lead 
me in thy right eoufnefs ; and again, lead me in thy truth , 

478 The Saints on Earthy 

lead me in a plain path ; fend forth thy light and thy truth ; 
lead me to the rock ; lead me to the land of uprightnefs ; and 
again, lead me in the way cvertajling; and, let me not 
wander from the way of thy command?nents ; as if he could 
never fufficiently exprefs his fenfe of the value, and his 

dcfirc to be poilMed of this benefit. They are not 

only inquifitive about the way, but defirous of going for- 
ward with diligence and fpeed* Travellers would pafs over 
their journey as foon as they can, and haften home j and 
fo would the fpiritual traveller: hence David crys out, / 
will RUN the ways of thy commandments ; and the Spoufe, 
Draw me^ we will run after thee. It is faid of thefe that 
went up to the temple to worfliip, that they went from 
Jlrength to firength^ from troop to troop, ftriving to over- 
take and out-run one another, till they were at Zion : fo, 
they that are on the heavenly journey, are ftriving to out- 
run one another, till they come to appear before God in 
the temple above; Phil. iii. 11. If hy any means I might 
attain to the refurredion of the dead : not as though I had at' 
tained^ either were already per feB \ hut I follow after ^ if that I 
may apprehend that for which alfo I am apprehended of Chrijl 
Jefus, It is a long journey they have to go, from the 
leaft degree of grace^ to the fulnefs of the flature of perfect 
men in Chrifl Jefus : they had need to run. Sinners run 
after the devil, and Ihall not faints run after Chrift ? Sin- 
ners run to hell, and fhould not faints run to heaven? 
Chriftians ihould blufh to fee wicked men fweat in their 
worldly, and even in their heliifh employments, and them- 
felves growing cold in the profecution of their eternal in- 

7. They are Grangers in refpecl of their comforts ^^ 
Strangers in a foreign country ufe to divert themfelves 
with finging: fo do the heavenly ftrangers as they travel 
thro* this world; hence fays David, Pfal. cxix. 54. Thy 
flatutes have been my